In celebration

I am finally getting back to normal with my respiratory health.  The sinus and upper respiratory infection  I battled with for weeks, finally met it’s match with the new set of meds the doctor gave me.  I even was able to get in some running last week.  I’m on my way.

Friday I really started battling a bit of tattoo fever.  I was planning on getting some small ink done this next Sunday at a benefit for Dog Star Pit Bull Rescue, but I also really wanted something to commemorate completing my first marathon; no a medal and a finisher’s shirt just was not enough.  I mulled over what to get, but I could never settle on a design.  I wanted something different, and something bold.

Saturday as we were coming home from brunch, we made a last second detour to our local tattoo shop; Saints & Sinners in Oak Cliff.  I think it may have been the brunch bloody marys or the chocolate wine that pushed me to just get this done.

I spoke to the artist and gave him what elements I wanted in my tattoo; 26.2 in roman numerals, the Japanese character for warrior, lots of boldness, and no flowery stuff. He went to work on it and had me come back in 30 minutes.

When I did, he had three concept drawings for me to look at.  Two were good but just not enough wow factor for me; the third one blew me away.  His concept had everything and had it bold as can be,  I loved it!

Within 30 minutes he had the stencil all drawn up, and was ready to start my ink!

I laid on that table for about 2 1/2 hours, and let me tell you this; my buzz left me about an hour into the session.  WOW!  It was painful as hell in some spots, but painful in general because of the fact that I have no meat on my left leg. It has always been atrophied.   Also I have a scar there from when I had my Achilles tendon lengthened about four decades ago.  Yeah you would think that after 40 freaking years that a scar would not have much of an impact.  WRONG!

It was so worth it though.  I LOVE my marathon tattoo!

Here are photos of the process:

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Freakin’ Marathon Runner

Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”  The unofficial US Postman’s Oath derived from Herodotus’ Histories (8.98), referring to the courier service of the ancient Persian Empire.

On Sunday December 4th, those of us who were brave enough to fight the elements to run the Dallas White Rock Marathon, felt that message in our bellies.  No matter the rain, no matter the cold, no matter the wind; we would run this race.

I had everything that I needed to get through this race; I trained diligently and had all the gear I could find that would help me get past the cold and the rain.  It was one of the most mentally challenging moments in recent years I have had to work through. I had no choice; I needed to!

My alarm went off at 4 am and as I slid out of bed, I was trying to focus on what I needed to take care of before leaving. My head was a little foggy, because I tossed and turned all night; hearing thunder seeing flashes of lightning, and that pounding rain. I focused on my to do list – get dressed, feed the pups, get them out to potty, and the corral them back into their crates.

I went into the kitchen and made a small cup of coffee, and a toasted peanut butter, agave, and banana sandwich.  As I took a moment to eat, I thought about the task at hand. I kept checking my list of gear that I was taking with me, and making sure that I had everything ready to go.  This list helped keep me grounded.

I didn’t know what to expect as far as the race. I was pretty nervous and a little apprehensive, but I knew that this was something I needed to do. This race was something I trained for; very hard. I was not going to let rain get in the way of making my goal. If the race was stopped by race officials, then that was one thing, but I wasn’t going to stop this race.  I was in the same boat as 29,999 other people so who was I to complain or puss out?

I finished my breakfast, pet the pups good-bye, grabbed the running gear that I bagged up the day before, and headed out to Fair Park. It was go time.

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Suit up!

The past ten days I lamented and stressed over the weather forecast for marathon day.  The chance of rain swayed from 80% to 10%, and then back up to 90%.  The temps were another tricky factor.  The days before and after were showing anywhere from highs in the 50’s to highs in the low-mid 40’s.

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Why We Run The Dallas White Rock Marathon

Friday was a day I really was looking forward to.  It was my second year to participate in the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital White Rock Marathon T-shirt Event.  I would get to sit with other athletes and patient champions, and autograph special t-shirts for the kids that were staying at the hospital.  It’s an event that brings everything into focus, as to what this race is about.  Sure this would be my first full marathon, but all participants for the full, half, and relay were running for these kids, and those who will need this hospital in the future.

Since the hospital’s inception in 1921, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children has treated patients regardless of the family’s ability to pay. The hospital relies on the generosity of individuals, organizations, foundations and corporations to continue its mission.

As a patient I have gone through what these kids have had to endure.  I may be further down the road in my recovery, but knowing what they are dealing with on a daily basis takes me back, and makes me feel very grateful for the battles I have won.  I could not have done it without the doctors at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital.

I really enjoyed and appreciated seeing the smiles on the faces of these special kids.  They have gone through so much adversity, and still look as happy as can be.  After all of the hard training, early mornings, long Saturday runs, and overall exhaustion, this event gave me the boost I needed.

A strong start but a tougher finish

My long runs have been a challenge for me ever since that 21-miler a couple of months ago.  They continue to be the bane of my existence, but I still keep trying to circumvent the problem, so I can actually kill as many runs above 20 miles, that I can.  The White Rock Marathon is but 40 days away, and I am still not yet satisfied with how my feet are holding up on the latter miles.

Saturday I headed out at about 7:30 to see just how far I could get.  My goal was a 20+, as for whatever mileage was after that, I would consider it as a cupcake bonus cherry on top.

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