Tomorrow is the Mardi Gras Marathon, in which my little brother Abe projects a 2:40 finish time. Let me repeat that: 2 hours and 40 minutes. I need to tell you Abe's story sometime: how he went from being an overweight teen to a running powerhouse!
I, meanwhile, just want to drag my wounded self over the finish line. Let's go over the pre-race checklist here:
1. T-shirts: check. We got our packets at the expo last night and luckily we were early enough to have our pick of sizes; I assumed I'd be a small but the shirts ran huge and I was able to exchange for an extra small.
2. Next year's registration: check. I'm so thrilled with this deal: if you sign up early for the marathon in 2011, it's only $65 PLUS you get a free girlie T-shirt! The soft cotton shirt on the left is the freebie. Only size L were left and I asked if there were any other sizes. The guy helping me immediately responded, "Oh, no, we're all out of extra large." "I was looking for a medium," I said scathingly (Abe laughed out loud). BTW I registered early for this year and only paid $50, a deal at just $1.90 a mile!
3. Course: reviewed. This is the stupidest course ever. The marathon and half marathon separate like 6 times! Take a look at this! And part of the course in Audubon park goes off-road. What?! Plus the way it is arranged at the finish, there is no road in to for finish-line spectators.
4. Wrist band: Um...check. They ID you at the expo and give you a wrist band in case you want a beer afterwords. I've NEVER been ID'd at a race. But then , I live in New Orleans. Has anyone ever been ID'd for race beer? Now I have to wear this band all day. Weird.
5. Healthy and prepared: NOPE! I'm not ready for this race at all! Let's go over my current health:
a. Knee: Recovered from apparent ruptured bursa, right knee. I can handle it with a strap.
b. Knees: I still have runner's knee in both knees thanks to bad shoes.
c. Groin: Suffering from a serious groin pull that actually lames me: at a certain point I can no longer lift my thigh. But oddly enough I can run through this injury. It hurts, but it doesn't bother me that much. I can't understand that but I'm not complaining!
d. Blisters: I actually still have severe blisters and raw patches from my barefoot running experiment over a month ago. Ouch.
e. Sick and coughing: I just got over a sickness that involved 105 F fever for three days. I'm a little shaky still and I have a residual cough. The base of my lungs hurt, and when I run I can actually feel my diaphragm hit my lungs - it feels like I'm being kicked in the lungs. This is my biggest worry for tomorrow.
f. This might be TMI but on top of everything else I have cramps. Boo for bad timing!
g. Underprepared: Ok, this one's on me. If I would get my lazy, wimpy behind out there when it was cold I would be in a lot better shape. No one to blame but myself for this one!
So that's it. Do you think I'm ready? Can I do this? Will I spend the last 4 miles limping? Will my "two free beers" be worth the humiliation of wearing a wrist band for 26.2 miles?
Check back tomorrow for details!