Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. Half doesn’t even begin to describe me properly.
Saturday a week ago (the 24th), I ran in the first annual Athens Half Marathon, in lovely Athens, GA. We started before dawn, which was exceptional and awesome, and took a winding, hilly course through the western part of the city. While there were some bugs in the works (the gel station was about a mile from where it was supposed to be, for instance), it was an excellent, well-managed race and a fantastic course.
That I PR’d doesn’t hurt my opinion, mind you. I was about a minute or so faster than in VB, on a much hillier course (I do think hills help me far more than hurt me, in the main).
As with the VB Half in September, I ran this half barefoot, though I’ve upgraded my Vibrams from the Sprints to the new Bikilas, which offer more padding and traction. I’ve had more trouble getting used to this pair than I did with the Sprints, largely because of some seams that sit right under my arch. I don’t think this is a defect to the shoe–merely the reality of my very high arches, and I suspect that some moleskin properly applied will take care of the matter once and for all. I’d noticed the rubbing in earlier runs, but, as one might expect, the situation was much more apparent during the race. And, yes, those are my feet, somewhere around the 5th mile.
Due to an unfortunate encounter with a Pit Bull, I had to drop out of the Battlefield Marathon that I had been training for. Both Doggo and I were attacked (the Pitty was after George, of course. I was collateral damage) on October 1, and both of us are recovering nicely. Doggo got a bit of a facelift out of the deal (slim, trim neck these days), and he’s back to his normal, ineffably lazy self. Because the owners did not surrender the dog and this area has a high incidence of rabies, I had the enormous pleasure of going through the rabies vaccination series this month. Wicked stuff, kids. Thoroughly wiped me out. But, those, too, are over. Yay!
Funny things that occurred surrounding this decidedly unfunny event:
1) When I arrived at the Human ER (after taking dog to the Pet ER), covered from stem to stern in blood (seriously, I had dog blood in. my. hair. Ew.), cradling my arm, I was asked if I needed help. While I realize this is a normal greeting, it struck me hysterical at the time. In fact, I think I laughed and am probably fortunate that I did not wind up in the mental ward several floors up.
2) I initially declined pain medication, because the doc was going to send me home with a narcotic (Oxycodone, to be specific), and that seemed overkill, in addition to my standing policy of avoiding opiates due to my, er, fascination with them. When I said no, Doc looks me over and remarks “I think you are in more pain than you think you are.” While I’m still not sure what the hell he was getting at about me at that moment, I eventually left with said prescription. Even took two of the pills and remembered WHY I don’t take opiates. I was loopy as hell.
3) The process by which one gets a post-exposure rabies vaccination is a bit odd, and begins with a trip back to the ER (which, as it turned out, is the only place that does the initial part of the series). Simple, right? Well, no, it took Environmental Health, my PCP, two ER nurses, and a patient rep to figure that out. Let me tell you how confident in systems I was feeling. Yahoo.
4) Vet techs singing “Georgie Porgie, Puddin’ and Pie” to the dog. The dog enjoyed every second of it. I will say, though, that I am so very grateful to his vets and the techs who took such good care of him. Firehall 4 rocks.
So, no marathon this month, but I’m going to reboot training in order to run the Georgia Marathon in March. Should be an adventure!