Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chickens, Guns and Tires

This weekend I’ve done two things that I’d never done before in my life. First, I accomplished a goal that I set for myself in January: to run one thousand miles in 2010. Second, I wrote a blog entry. Surprisingly, I feel a lot more comfortable running a thousand miles in a year than writing a blog entry. Why? Because I don’t think I’m a very good writer. I agonize over word choices and it takes me an hour to write 3 sentences. But, I figured I’d give it a shot. I'll try to post some interesting stories about running and our lives in general but this time I'll keep it simple and post a recap of the marathon yesterday for my first entry. So here goes nothing…

The Columbia City Veterans Marathon was my 5th marathon and each of them has been a very unique experience. I’ve run through the beautiful scenery of Anchorage, Alaska, along the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky, with 45,000 other runners in Chicago, Illinois and through Fort Benjamin Harrison in my hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana. Columbia City was no exception. Here are the top 3 unique things I’ll remember about the Columbia City Marathon:

  1. The chicken farm at mile 5
  2. Running on opening weekend of deer season in rural Indiana
  3. A flat tire

Shortly after seeing Natalie for the first time at mile 4 (where I'd just crossed the thousand mile mark for the year), I came across the most foul (or fowl) smelling thing I've ever encountered while running. In the middle of a corn field, there was a long, narrow building that must have housed thousands of chickens. I seriously considered holding my breath for about a half-mile. That was my first encounter with a chicken farm and I hope it's also the last. Shortly after I recovered from the smell, I saw Natalie again around mile 9. The plan was to see her next around the 17th mile and then again around mile 20. However, much to my surprise, I saw her as the course passed through town around the 13th mile. Curiously, she was on the phone and told me "There's a slight problem." She said that she'd hit a curb, resulting in a flat tire (see picture to right). Then she pointed to the car, which was sitting in a field about a block away. During the second half of the marathon, I spent a lot of time worrying about the car and how the heck she ran into a curb, but periodic shotgun blasts from the surrounding fields interrupted those thoughts and kept me moving. Thankfully Natalie wasn't injured, the car was fixed by the end of the race and I finished in one piece. My time wasn't memorable but Columbia City ranks as one of the most memorable marathons yet!

In 3 weeks, I'm running the Tecumseh Trail Marathon near Bloomington and, just like the first five, I know it will be totally different than any race I've done before. I'm already excited to find out what great memories it has in store for us!

P.S. It took me about 5 hours to write this.