California Dreamin’

My daughter Danielle looking very pregnant

When I was signing up for the Santa Barbara Marathon I realized it was very close to my Daughter Danielle’s due date. I knew if I were in California running a marathon instead of sitting next to her hospital bed holding her hand while she was in labor she would never talk to me ever again. My wife said I had to find out for sure from her doctor the due date and ask my Daughter’s permission to go run this race. Danielle had a check up and the doctor said she would most likely be a little late so she contacted me and gave me her blessing to go to Santa Barbara. She did make me promise that if by some UN-forseen occurrence she did go into labor that I would leave immediately and drive home to be with her in the hospital even if I was in the middle of the race. I agreed and got ready to go to California.
The race would be on Saturday the 12th and I was feeling great but as it always happens Murphy and his law showed up. You know Murphy’s law, ‘Anything that can go wrong will go wrong’. On Wednesday the 2nd of November I woke up feeling terrible and got myself over to the clinic. I was told I have a bladder infection. If you are a little stunned by this well so was the doctor. He said that usually only women and little girls get bladder infections. Apparently it stemmed from my running. I don’t want to go into the details but let me just say it was awfully painful and I hope never to get another one of those. He gave me some antibiotics and that took care of it but I was unable to train for about 3 days and I think it really affected my performance at the marathon.

I pity the fool who gets a bladder infection before running a marathon!


Once again I had to drive to this one alone since I was unable to trick anyone to come with me. It was a long, boring uneventful drive. I had made arrangements to stop at my Mom’s house first in Simi Valley and eat dinner with her and my family there and then drive the extra hour and fifteen minutes to Santa Barbara to pick up my packet. By the time I got to the marathon expo and got my packet I had been driving over 12 hours and was completely pooped. I pulled into a parking lot that I hoped was near the bus stop that would shuttle me to the race the next morning. I wasn’t really sure where I was or where the start of the race was or where to meet the shuttle bus all I knew was that I needed sleep so I parked and crawled into the back of my Saturn and slept the sleep of the dead until my alarm rang the next morning at 5:00am. I dreamed that I was in a was in a war and the enemy kept throwing stones all night on our bunker. When my alarm woke me up the noise of the rain hitting the top of my car was deafening. As I started to get dressed the rain miraculously stopped and didn’t start again until after I had crossed the finish line (freaky). I got my gear on and stepped out of my car (poor mans-hotel-command center) and low and behold I had just by sheer luck and coincidence parked right next to the shuttle bus pickup to the start of the race!
The race course was very beautiful. We moved along the rolling hills and landscaped lawns of the neighborhoods of this upscale California community.

I use two pairs of shoes when I train switching them every-other-day and then after three months I retired them forever and buy two new pairs to replace the old ones. I also replace the insoles of both pairs every month. My shoes were right on the time line I use to replace them but I thought I’d cheap out and use them one last time on this marathon. Bad idea, very bad idea. Because of the lack of support I suffered some really bad bruises on the ball of my foot. I did this once before when I ran the Washington Marathon and made myself a promise not to cheap out. I should have listened to me. Being a cheapskate when it comes to your running shoes is never a good thing.
My finish time was 5 hours and 44 minutes and hey for a guy with one leg that’s not too bad. After the race I made my way from Santa Barbara back to Simi Valley where my Mom lives. I showered and let her spoil me by making dinner. Usually after a race I just can’t get full. I eat for about 3 days following a marathon but not this time. My Mom made so much for me to eat I was full for three days afterwards. My two brothers, Scott and Jim were there and the three of us watched T.V. and ate dinner together. I haven’t been alone with my Mom and brothers in probably 30 years or more.

Tired but feeling great


The drive home was long but very satisfying after a really nice marathon and knowing that I was bringing back another medal for a job well done.

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