Sunday, May 3, 2009

Fort Collins part un

Today I ran my second marathon in 2 weeks. This was a totally new experience for me and I had no idea how Willie's body would take to this new trauma. I'm happy to report that today's marathon was much better than last week's and Willie's body is doing great. I should caveat that though, I'm on my 3rd or 4th (I can't remember) beer at this point and basically everything feels good. My legs may have fallen off for all I care. I'm happy and I don't have another marathon for at least another month. Bring on the soreness!!!

The Fort Collins marathon is awesome! That's my race report in a nutshell. If you can run it, do it!

I flew in Friday night and my flights were a bit delayed so I didn't get to see the beautiful mountains when I landed. We had dinner at a great Mexican restaurant here in Fort Collins that made excellent margaritas. I think the food was good too.

I was blessed to be invited to stay with a wonderful couple who my friend knew through the running club. These people were amazing! They put us up and treated us like royalty. So much better than I have every had a hotel. Thank you so much Joanne and Hunter! I'm in your debt for anything you ever need.

We woke up Saturday morning and went for a short run over to the Anheuser-Busch brewery. It was only 2.5 miles away! I love this place. We took a tour and then basically sat around drinking free beer and eating free pretzels until almost 2 PM! Our table was full of empty pretzel bags by the time we left. Those Anheuser-Busch people should have known better than to offer free pretzels to runners! Manna from heaven! Oh yea, we had a lot of beer also.

We caught a ride back home and Joanne fixed us breakfast at 3 PM. Like I said, better than a hotel. We then relaxed for awhile before heading out to take a short tour of the area (lots and lots of hills which we were assured we would be running DOWN!). Then we had dinner at a fabulous Italian place. About 20 of us took over the place and we had a ball! So much fun and laughter I can't even begin to make a worthy account of the event. Then we were back to Joanne's for an early bedtime. Forgot to mention that it was raining, cloudy and cold all day. The forecast was for cloudy and cold on Sunday though, no rain. I put my full faith in that forecast because I couldn't imagine running in the rain.

Sunday we woke up at 3 AM because we had to catch a bus to the starting line at 4AM. You weren't allowed to drive up the mountain to the staring line, you had to take a bus. They threatened us with disqualification if they saw anyone getting out of a personal car. They were sticklers for traffic control. Very cool! We made it to the buses and I noticed some stars as we were loading. No rain and only a few clouds. Awesome! I slept most of the way up the mountain on the luxury bus they provided for us. Once we got there we stayed on the bus because it was heated and the temperature had dropped to 39 degrees.

As I was sitting there, I struck up a conversation with the gentleman beside me. Turns out he was the race director for the Parkersburg 1/2 marathon which is my hometown! As we talked, I discovered that he grew up on the same street as I did back in Ohio!! OMG it's a small world. He was out here getting Colorado completed on his quest for 50 states. How awesome is that!

Eventually they kicked us off the bus and we entered the 6000 foot atmosphere. Good thing I brought my own oxygen. Actually it wasn't that bad, I hardly noticed. The race started very informally and we were running. I forced myself to take it easy. It was hard not to go fast because we were running downhill but I was very un-Willie-istcally disciplined. The views were unbelievable! We ran next to a rushing river and the fog was still laying heavily on the mountains. The sun was breaking through though and created some amazing shadows. I took many pictures which I'll post when I get home.

For many miles all you could hear was the rushing river, the air was thin, clear, and clean. The smell of aspen was in the air. You couldn't ask for a better morning. The rain and clouds were gone and the sun was poking it's head between the valleys. I fell in love. Who needs oxygen.

I ran well, averaging 8:20's on the way down the mountain. I can't tell you how great it was to round every turn and see another downhill! What an amazing course. The road slanted in the proper direction ALL THE TIME! DOWN! Just the way God intended it to.

I'll finish later, my alcohol-blood content is high so I must go get the ratio improved so I can't feel how badly my quads hurt.

Thanks for listening


glenstanley said...

Very Cool. Can't wait to see the pics. Sounds like a great confidence builder too.

Southbay Girl said...

It sounds like you had an amazing time! I don't think you needed any support this race! Good thing since I was in a canyon with no cell service!!

Congrats on a great race and yummy beer afterwards!!!

Maybe I'll think about doing that race if I ever do another marathon again....downhill sounds nice

cath said...

O.M.G! u are such a hero...not only running two marathons with basically no rest...but; drinking beer as well!!! inspirational stuff....
when i grow up....i want to be able to run and drink beer too....

Calyx Meredith said...

Well who knew that you needed a marathon to warm up for a marathon? GREAT job. You are such a stud doing those back to back. I'm so glad you had a fantastic experience in Ft. Collins! Yay!!