Set goal + Make a plan + Get to work + Stick to it = Goal accomplished.
Seems so simple NOT HARDLY! Especially when you find you’re moving onto plans B, C, and D kicking and screaming all the way. Or you can force your noggin to spin it differently and accept the fact you might get to experience an unplanned adventure. The Heartland Series was the epitome of an unplanned adventure.
You have to understand the gravity of where I’m at to complete my goal of running a marathon in every state.
1.) All 3 of these races are plan B. I have attempted running marathons in all three of these states in the past and was unable to finish due to injury, race cancellation or in-climate weather.
2.) I HAVE to complete ALL these marathons or it’s going mess up everything. I only have 6 races left to reach my quest and I REALLY, REALLY want to make the Walt Disney World Marathon number 50 in January, 2017. The few states I have left will not have any other marathons to redo so that I can finish up at Disney in January.
OPERATION: DO OVER BEGINS…….
Iowa State #45: Soggy Bottom
I arrived at the Chicago O’Hare Airport on Wednesday and drove the 3 1/2 hour to Clinton, Iowa.
I was very excited to start my first of three races. Our start time was 5:00am but that’s ok because I couldn’t sleep anyway. I think I woke up every hour so when the alarm rang and 3:30 I happily jumped out of bed and got over to the starting area.
It began to rain almost immediately after the race started and continued the entire day. This was a huge relief to me because it was well into the mid 80’s already and the rain would help keep the temps from climbing too high. Being from Utah a dry, desert state humidity is a foreign word to me. I felt saturated inside and out with hot moisture. Normally one coating of body glide and Vaseline will last an entire race but not in this climate. I had a fairly easy race and finished in 5 and a half hours.
My good friend Chuck Harvey ran most of the race with me. It was nice reconnecting with old friends and fellow runners I hadn’t seen for awhile.
The drive from Illinois to Iowa was beautiful. Trees, acres of green pastures and picturesque farm houses were everywhere. This was a unique sight for a person like me who is used to only seeing prairies and tumble weeds.
Wisconsin state #46 Hot and Cheesy After the marathon in Clinton, Iowa I drove to Sparta, Wisconsin.
Once again the scenery was incredible. I checked into the hotel which was managed by an Indian fellow and his wife. I asked him if he knew any good restaurants in town and he pointed to the Burger Barn across the street. I then asked if he knew of any good Indian restaurants close by. He seemed surprised and asked if I knew anything about Indian food. I told him I was craving some good tikka masala and naan bread. The expression on his faced was that of shock and disbelief. He then laughed and said as far as he knew there was no Indian restaurants for a hundred miles in any direction. I settled for a Chinese place down the street.
Unlike the first night I slept like a baby. When my alarm rang at 3:30am instead of leaping from the covers I sorta rolled out and onto the floor. I was so stiff I couldn’t move. I took about 15 minutes and stretched my stiff muscles just so I could stand up and move around. Let me just remind everyone that heat and humidity are to me what Kryptonite is to Superman. As I stepped out of my air conditioned hotel room the heat of the morning was already knocking me over. Ugg, I was already dreading what was going to be a very hot day. Even before the race began my entire body was soaked in sweat.
I’m a sweating kind of guy and I don’t like the heat. When you wear a prosthetic any amount of moisture can cause blisters and make your liner shift and become very uncomfortable. Let’s face it putting up with that for 20 minutes is annoying but dealing with it for 5 plus hours running can be risky.
I battled through this days marathon in Wisconsin and finished at somewhere around 7 hours. I was thankful for the water stops and plenty of ice that the Mainly Marathon crew had for us.
After this race and soaking wet with sweat I drove to Minnesota. I must have been really thirsty because before I left Wisconsin because I pulled into a gas station to fill up and bought two 64 ounce drinks. One Sprite and the other Powerade and after drinking them both I didn’t even need to go pee for about 4 hours. I had a felling I may have injured my stump in all that heat.
Once I got to the hotel in Minnesota I was having trouble walking. I took my portable leg massagers and mini bath tub Jacuzzi machine with me and took full advantage of it but what I missed was a plum sized blister on the bottom of my stump that had developed that day.
Minnesota state # 46 Revenant in Minnesota
This was the 3 rd marathon in 3 days, I was tired and so sore. I woke up late and got to the 5:00 am start with only minutes to spare. (No excited starting line video for this race) I knew something was wrong from the beginning but figured I’d just tough through it because it my last race and I didn’t have the option of quitting.
Somewhere around mile 12 I was unable to run anymore. Something had happened but I wasn’t quite sure what. I didn’t know what I could do to fix this situation. Total pain had me paralyzed and I was unable to continue. As fellow runners came up to me to try and help one suggested to me to take of my blade and use my walking leg to finish the race with. What a brilliant idea! My walking prosthetic is very mobile and can be used for slow running. Another runner agreed to run back to the bag drop area and retrieve my car keys and fetch my walking leg and bring it over to me.
I soon experienced the most pain I’ve ever felt while running. It caused me to collapse and fall straight down on the ground. Several runners ran up to me to see if they could help and while they stood there staring as I removed my prosthetic leg blood came pouring out of it!
Apparently the pain I had felt earlier came from a
small blister that had popped but this time the pain and blood came from the very large purple plum sized blister on the very bottom of the stump. I could hear people shriek as I pulled off my liner and revealed this gruesome sight!
With no other choice I forced my leg back on and continued the painful process of continuing the marathon. After 10 hours of grueling pain I finished marathon three! In all 53 marathons, never have I wanted to quit so bad or been in so much pain. Minnesota did NOT make checking her off my state list easy. The last time I was here in Minnesota, they CANCELLED the Race as 100s of runners were at the STARTING LINE! I was determined not to come back a 3rd time.
I am very grateful for the race workers that stayed WAY PAST the time the other runners finished. Especially for Steve Patten that ran/limped with me to make sure I finished. I received my finishers medal along with the ‘caboose’ which is the traditional award given to the last runner in. I do believe even a snail beat me at this marathon. But I finished!!!! TAKE THAT Minnesota.
The last 9 miles felt like that guy in the movie Run FAT Boy RUN