My GPS rang in at 13.25 miles. I believe that is a personal record distance for me. Sure, it was only by 0.15 miles, but I have officially ran further than a half-marathon. No, I didn’t run an extra lap. I never accounted for the fact that it would be impossible to run the inside lane the entire time.
I arrived at the field around 10:30 with Jack. I quickly changed into my running gear, dropped a Nuun into my water, set it on a table by the track, sucked down a gel, and headed off.
It wasn’t nearly as monotonous as I was expecting, especially running it alone (almost). There were some great advantages to running on a track. 1) The soft rubber felt great. When I ran high school track, it was hard concrete with tree roots busting it up (we called it “home-team advantage”). 2) I didn’t need to carry anything. I kept a large water bottle of Nuun at my team tent. 3) Its comforting to know a bathroom was never more than 200m away. Fortunately, I had no stomach issues.
I used the run to try two new things. While I have been drinking Nuun post-run for a few weeks now, it was the first time I used it during a run. I doubled the water ratio and it worked great; no cramping, no heartburn. At 6 miles in, I grabbed one of my Honey Stinger Waffles to try. First off, that taste really good and its nice to nibble on something solid. I didn’t have the usual hunger pains that strike me after 8 miles.
There was plenty to look at for the 2.5 hours I was out. Every team had to pick a state for their theme. So every team had their area decorated to fit their state theme as well as sell goods related to the state. Our team was Tennessee and sold some “Memphis BBQ”. Lauren made “Elvis Cupcakes” based off his favorite sandwich – banana cake with peanut butter icing and topped with bacon. After about 10 laps, you’ve pretty much seen all there is to offer at each site. The main stage had Zumba, a magician, a bootcamp workout and my favorite – Blues Brothers impersonators. I got to catch 30 second glimpses every lap. Also walking the track was a Jack Sparrow impersonator who walked in the opposite direction of everyone for maximum exposure. Jack was taken out for some laps by my family and I got to pass him a few times. It was nice to see him having a good time and kept my mind occupied.
Then there was Georgia…
At the Georgia tent there was a man with a tray of something for sample. He kept trying to get me try it. I couldn’t see what it was, assuming something sweet and politely said no thank you…every other lap. He was persistent, but not rude and with about 6 miles to go, I told him I would stop by when I finished my run. I wasn’t disappointed.
With about 3 miles left, my legs were getting tired and I was getting antsy. A few people had started to take notice at how long I had been out there. The comments helped, but those were the longest 3 miles. Then my Forrest Gump moment came. With 3 laps to go, I noticed some kids start to run behind me. I heard them snickering the moment they started following me and I pretended I didn’t notice for a lap, thinking maybe they were mocking me (I’m a cynic, I know). Then I noticed, glances growing. I turned around to see a group of about 6 smiling kids maybe about 12-14 years old.
“Are you guys following me?”
“Well this is my final lap, so let’s make it a good one”
We finished my final lap and I thanked them. They helped me make it through those final laps, and I wanted to let them know. I headed into my tent for a few dollars, I had to keep my word to Georgia. On my way to their tent, Jack Sparrow stopped to congratulate me (and smiled to see I properly shook him by the forearm). He told me his brother is a runner and has done the NYC. He also told me a story of when his brother was a manager at J.C. Penny (I found it funny to be talking about retail stores in 18th century speak) and ran after a shoplifter for about 3 miles until the thief gave up.
I was greeted at the Georgia tent with a big smile. He took me in the back behind the tent where they were grilling these monstrous burgers. Like I said, I was not disappointed. Food always tastes 100x better after a long run, but this was already one of the juiciest burgers I ever had. Thank you, Georgia.
Wrap Up (TL;DR’s start here):
- Ran 13.25 miles in 2:20 (faster than my Detroit 2011 time)
- Tried Nuun and Honey Stinger Waffles, both with positive results
- Had a Forrest Gump-like following for my final few laps
- Ate a juicy burger, post-run
- Was at the event on and off from 10:30a – midnight
- Woke up early the next day to make Lauren her Mother’s Day breakfast before heading out to Greenfield Village.
- How was your Mother’s Day weekend?
- Ever try Honey Stinger Waffles? Thoughts?
- Would you try one of Lauren’s Elvis Cupcakes? (They were delicious!)
- Is your kid as enthralled with Thomas the Tank Engine as mine is?