Deion Sanders tried to sabotage my marathon

This is what happens when Deion tries to mess with me (however the smile is great)

This is what happens when Deion tries to mess with me (however the smile is great)

With all of my love for Deion over the years, I feel betrayed that he would be part of a sabotage scheme to ruin my marathon. However, I am happy to report that the sabotage attempt has been discovered and I am following up with an ass kicking to all parties involved.  Let me explain:

 

First a little back story:  I name my running shoes.  It’s kind of fun and it helps me differentiate between similar shoes.  As I’m working in a shoe rotation, it helps me keep track of the mileage that each pair has on them.  So let’s look back at my first running shoes from last year

 

Roberto Clemente... the shoes

Roberto Clemente... the shoes

These are my marathon shoes from the Honolulu Marathon.  With the black, yellow and white colors, after long debate, I named them after Roberto Clemente of the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Pirate colors are black, yellow and white and Roberto Clemente was one of the most charitable (and all around solid) dudes ever.  So that fit in with me running the Honolulu Marathon for charity.  Roberto Clemente did me well and were a great fit for my feet.

 

 After the Honolulu Marathon, Roberto Clemente-shoes were retired (but did reappear for the MNJ Co-ed Softball season).  I went to the local running shop and was hustled into moving away from the Roberto Clemente shoes (I looked for his twin brother) and was instead moved into the next line up.  Same supportive Mizuno Wave shoe, however these were lighter, had better support and response.  They fit just as well.  They looked different, but the Fleet Feet hustler insisted it was the same shoe (but ended up being $40 more).  These shoes were blue, silver and white.  UGHHH.  How can I name my shoes after these colors.  I tried hard to convince myself these are Cubs colors, but they aren’t.  So the only teams I could think of are the Dallas Cowboys and the Detroit Lions.  I absolutely hate the Cowboys and never think of the constant loser Lions, so this was going to be tough. 

 

Barry Sanders... the shoes not the dude.

Barry Sanders... the shoes not the dude.

My first pair (from the hustler at Fleet Feet) I decided to name after probably (after Spud Webb) the most size challenged player for his sport.  Barry Sanders. Barry Sanders was WAYY to small to play football, but he didn’t care and ended up being a superstar.  I am definitely the wrong size for running a marathon, so this seemed like a good fit.  Barry Sanders (Barry is the left and Sanders is the right shoe) and I had a pretty solid first 250 miles together.  However, running shoes typically last 200-400 miles.  And with me beating them (with more weight per step) than most, I decided to play it conservative.  So after about 200 miles, I started working in my second pair of shoes.  Neon Deion. 

 

Neon Deion, they look so innocent don't they?

Neon Deion, they look so innocent don't they?

My second (identical to Barry Sanders) pair of silver, blue and white shoes were named after the only other Lions or Cowboys player I loved, Deion Sanders.  The Lions, well I couldn’t name them Hermann Moore and that’s it to memorable Lions.  As for the Cowboys, they were all a-holes, so no respect will be paid to Troy, Emmit, Michael, etc.  But Deion Sanders, he was my guy.  I loved him with the Atlanta Braves/Falcons, l loved him with the 49ers, and I survived him being a Cowboy.  So Neon (left shoe) Deion (right shoe) made his way into my rotation in early September.  Neon Deion was going to take me through my long runs and have about 125 miles on them when it came time for the Whistlestop Marathon.  Perfect.  Broken in, but still fresh with more than enough cushioning left in them. 

 

As I have reported in my last post, my last 2+ weeks were terrible.  My legs felt terrible and injuries were becoming more than nagging pain, but full on injury.  My confidence was at an all time low and my pain at an all time high.  Things were not going well.  I changed my workout schedule and changed my marathon goals to “survival mode”, just finish.  It was late last week when I was doing a Twitter search on marathons and I found the following tweet:

 

twitter Ethiopian_MarathonTeam:  @KenyonNationalMarathonTeam:  Guys, it seems like the plan is working. Our sabotage of Dave’s NeonDeion shoes is a success. He is injured. We now have a shot at the Whistlestop About 2 hours ago from UberTwitter

 

WHAT!?!?!  The stinkin’ Ethiopian and Kenyon marathoners are working together to injure me?  Well this means war…. And I’m coming to the race with some brass knuckles.  Heck who needs those.  I’m picking up one of the other racers and I’ll beat the Ethiopians and Kenyons with their fellow conspirators. 

 

So that ticked me off.  I put Neon Deion aside to pulled old Barry Sanders out from the back of the closet.  My Saturday long (well long run for a tapering week) went awesome.  My Monday and Wednesday runs this week were awesome as well.  I will not let those sucka’s hold me down.  I’m back.

 

So while there are still some lingering effects from my 2+ weeks of bad running in sabotaged shoes, my anger and drive to destroy the Kenyon and Ethiopian marathoners will bring me through. 

 

 My Kitchen:  Krissy Running Pasta  18/17

For the last year+, whenever I have a long run, Krissy makes me some special magical running pasta and it’s been fantastic.  I will be eating it for the 3 days leading up to the marathon.  As my gift to you all, here is the recipe (add a little more salt if close to a long run/marathon):

1 box penne rigate or mostaccioli

4-5 Tblsp. Extra virgin Olive oil

A few dashes of Basil, or Italian seasoning, or basil and rosemary Pine nuts – around 1/2 cup?

Make pasta

While pasta is boiling in salted water (I use sea salt), toast pine nuts in broiler or on stove in skillet, no oil. Watch them, they burn quickly once they start turning brown. Drain pasta, add oil, seasoning and pine nuts. Mix and serve.

 May add cherry or grape tomatoes. Slice them in halves put on a cookie sheet with the oil and seasoning. Add at the end.

 

Ho ChunkWho knew that the Ho Chunk Casino in Wisconsin had a sports book.  But they are the closest thing to local action for the Whistlestop Marathon.  They just put up their opening numbers and have me at 2:1 to complete the marathon and 10,000:1 to beat the crap out of those sabotaging Kenyons and Ethiopians.

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The wheels are falling off

 

Wheels off

 

My running has turned to poop! Failed races, shortened runs, weeks off, injuries, are all words that can describe the last 2+ weeks of my marathon training. However, with all of this, and only 9 days to go until the Whistlestop Marathon, I feel pretty confident in my ability to complete it (before they close the track down). So here is a list of the challenges over the last 2 weeks:

 

-Chicago Half Marathon—this started off pretty well. Slurp was held up by Barack landing in MN, but got in without a problem, we ate some dinner, relaxed and got to bed early. Unfortunately it was a beautiful night, so the Wrigleyville drunks were out in force. I slept right through their shenanigans, but Slurp and Krissy were up a lot of the night.

The morning of the race we all work up in time and got ready. We all already had everything laid out, so we just popped on our running gear and out the door. After a quick Red Line ride to the loop, we transferred over to the Green Line which brings us about 4 or 5 blocks from the race. Unless… the Green Line doesn’t start until 35 min before the race. We contemplated a different route, but stayed with our plan and the Green Line…. We arrived about 10 min early and walked over. We missed the gun while we were at gear check, but that’s fine, because it took 6 minutes for the crowd to get over the starting line. Slurp, Krissy and I all started together; about 10 min after the gun. At that point, Slurp was off and Krissy and I began our nice slow run.

There were about 30x this many people at the starting line.

There were about 30x this many people at the starting line.

The first 8-10 miles were pretty uneventful. We stuck perfectly with our planned pace time and were ready to whup up on my Arch Nemesis, Marilyn, the 75 year old woman who crushed me at a half marathon last year. The sun was out and there was not a bit of shade. We ran most of the race up and down Lake Shore Drive, and while the view was spectacular, it was a lot of miles on concrete with a lot of miles with no shade. I think this combo really started hitting me around mile 10-11 and my pace started slowing as a newly found stomach cramp started growing on my right side. At mile 11.5, I told Krissy to move on without me and I needed a few minutes to try to walk off my cramp. It never happened. I very slowly ran the rest of the race, but the added minutes to the end caused me to miss my Arch Nemesis by 4 min.

On a good note, Krissy crushed my Arch Nemesis (damn you Marilyn) but in the process, Krissy became my new Arch Nemesis.

This is what I looked like when I was done

This is what I looked like when I was done

After the race I was exhausted. I ran training runs of 13miles over 1min/mile faster than this race. And I felt awesome after the runs. After this race, I was dead to the world and developed a nasty cough that I still have 16 days later. The race ticked me off and stole my confidence.

 -My 19 mile training run. The following week I had a 19 mile training run (which was supposed to be followed with a 21 mile training run the next weekend). I got up a little late for this run, but it was a pretty overcast day, so no biggie. My first 15 miles were without incident. My 13 mile time crushed my half marathon time (figures) and the only real incident was with some weak ass Pittsburgh Steelers fans. Let me explain:

I had a green shirt too.  This is what I did to the Steelers fans.

I had a green shirt too. This is what I did to the Steelers fans.

It was the Sunday when the Bears were hosting the Steelers. I was running the worst chunk of the Chicago Lake path (under lake shore drive on lower wacker, just north of Navy Pier). This is the only place on the lake path where space is limited. Since it’s a sidewalk next to a busy street, it’s about 3-4 people wide, with guard rails on each side. With this being a very busy running day (Chicago marathoners were doing a big 20 mile run at the same time) there were tons of runners and bikers on this stretch. Usually most people go single file here so walkers/runners/bikers can get through. Not these 9 Steelers fans. They were 3 wide and 3 deep (a nice matrix). These were wide guys as well. Well everyone was trying to go around and they were being total A-hole and not letting people pass. They were getting wider or just getting in people’s way. Unlike most Steelers fans I know, these guys were total jerks. So when it was my time to pass, I politely said “excuse me” so I could get through. Nothing. I said it again “excuse me guys”. One guy looks over and doesn’t move. I had been running 10.5 miles at this point, so I made a fun decision, I would slide by. By this, I mean I ran buy and rubbed up against these guys. I was soaked. They… were slimed. If they weren’t moving, forget them. I totally soaked these guys with my sweat-filled shirt. One guy tried to trip me, but missed. I would have reacted, but they were 9 and I was a very exhausted 1. So I let it go and ran by, knowing they would be enjoying a wet sweaty-Dave soaked shirt for a while.

Besides the Steelers fans, it was good. Around mile 15 I started getting sore. Weird soreness at this point in a training run is typical. I’m abusing my body, so rightfully so, it’s giving me some grief. However around mile 17, I started having a very dull sensation in my left knee. It seemed pretty standard and I only had 2 miles left, so I kept moving. Around 17.5, it became a very sharp stabbing pain. I was surprised, so I decided to walk for a minute. Only 1.5 miles left, no reason to be silly. NOPE. I made it about 5 more steps and knew I was done. The pain was extreme, so I pulled off the course, called Krissy and had her pick me up.

-The pain didn’t leave for a while. Then my body was exhausted for the next few days, so I decided to skip my 21 mile run the next week and start my taper a week early. I also took a full week to rest and recover. While there is still some benefit to running and training 3 weeks before a marathon, I wasn’t going to push it. If I am going to survive and complete the marathon, I would need the rest more than anything else. So I took last week off. Then this week I started running a few 4 mile runs. My knee is fine. The rest of my body, however is pissed. I lost a decent amount of endurance in that week, and my body was used to running. After 7 days off, my body was telling me that it was pretty happy not running. Shin and calf pains have been following, but they aren’t major right now.

This is the guy I need to stay away from.  He's coming for the last place guy.

This is the guy I need to stay away from. He's coming for the last place guy.

So now my goal has changed. It’s no longer working on a 5:30 hour completion. Now it’s slowing down and just completing the race in 6hrs, before the race officials stop recording times and close off the course. This changes things for me. I will most likely be the last person to finish the race. That means the volunteers who are at the water stops will be saying this “Ugh, did that Mexican dude with the tied-dye shirt go past yet. He’s last, so after he passes, we can go home.” It also means if trouble strikes, no one will be following me to help. I’m running through a forest here, Woodchuks, Badgers, rabid-Deer will be all around. If one of those creatures comes onto the trail and eats me. No one will know. Maybe with my running gear, I’ll have to bring a Bow and arrows. Yeah, that should work.

And that’s it. I’m busted and hobbled and going into a marathon with a crappy three weeks of running going into it… But, unless those badgers eat me alive, I have a pretty good feeling. Just completing the race in 6hrs is cutting almost 3hrs of my previous time. Hard core marathoners try to shave 2 minutes here and 7 minutes there. I’m shaving 180 minutes. Ahhh, eat that Kenyons. Next post should be after the race…. Unless the badgers get to me first.

After hearing about my last few weeks, The Venetian has changed their odds. For a while they completely took me off the board. Now it’s 4:1 against me finishing. Vegas confidence in me seems to have fallen off.