Monday, February 13, 2012

Will Run For Beer- Mercedes Marathon Weekend

Yesterday was race day.  The Running Nazi and I ran in the Mercedes Half Marathon.  This is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) running event in Alabama.  It sort of started as the Freeze your half off run that was held this same time every year.  The Freeze your half off was my very first ever 1/2 marathon and also my fastest in under 1 hr 42 minutes.

In 2002, they did away with the Freeze your half off and created the Mercedes Marathon and 1/2 marathon.  That year I did the full Mercedes Marathon in an attempt to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  It was my first marathon and the most memorable.  I ran a 3 hrs 47 minute marathon missing the Boston qualifying time by 2 minutes.  I ran into my old running buddy D yesterday after the race.  We put in a lot of miles together training for those marathons and trying to qualify.  D ran the half yesterday and told me she was doing Boston again.  It was great seeing her and catching up.  I did eventually qualify for Boston that same year at the Huntsville Rocket City Marathon.

The Mercedes Marathon gets bigger every year.  This year both events filled up before the weekend expo even started.  For the first time ever, nobody could sign up at the expo.  There were thousands of people there Sunday morning in the 20 degree temps.  The Running Nazi and I bought a couple of disposable jackets at the expo for $8.  Yes, you can really buy disposable clothing here to pollute the environment.  We weren't being very green, but we did stay warm at the beginning of the race and disposed the jackets along the course after we warmed up.

I decorated mine the night before with some motivational quotes.  I think it  helped all the fellow runners that were passing me.  They were kicking my ass and feeling very inspired by the quotes on the jacket.  I'm positive.  Especially the one about Pain being temporary, but Internet results lasting forever.  That will make anyone run faster!  I have proof that this quote really inspired by all the super fast times all the runners posted.

Ken's vote on the funniest quote (because it was the lamest) was "Why are all these people following me?" Ms. Harry Potter liked that quote the best too.  She was there in her disposable jacket and I helped decorate it for her, of course.  I even remembered Mom on the front jacket sleeve.  I was suppose to wave to her when I saw the news cameras and I was going to raise my arm up so she could see where I had written "Hi Mom".   However,  I didn't see any news cameras and she didn't see me.  I was running too fast.

This was The Running Nazi and me when we got to the race start.  Don't worry, I brought my Sharpie pen so we could "decorate" the Nazi's jacket before the race started.  She wanted "Will Run For Beer" written across her back and a heart in honor of Valentine's Day.

We finished the race in under 1 hr 55 min and then headed inside to use the restrooms and warm up and hydrate before heading back out to run 7 more miles.  It was our last 20 miler before the marathon we are running in next month.  My calves are killing me!  So glad it's taper time and I have two 20 milers and a couple of 1/2 marathon races under my belt to help me prepare this time.

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