A Mostly ING Edition Of ITP

You didn’t expect me to train for an event for three months and not have a big post about it when I completed it, did you?

Read Along With Me
Today’s passage from Notes To Myself.

If I find I am afraid of getting beaten up I don’t have to choose between obeying the dictates of the fear or reacting against it; I have the alternative of acknowledging what I feel at the moment and allowing myself to do whatever grows of that. Self-awareness increases my options, my range of choices.

To all who have helped me — Thanks.

Paying It Forward
On Friday I had someone sitting next to me that wasn’t my date after all.

As I sat comfortably with an empty seat next to me a young woman asked me “Sir…” (again!!!) “Are you here alone?” Now before you get all happy for me allow me to shatter your hope by telling you that I already knew that she was married. She went on to ask “If you are, would you mind switching seats with my mother-in-law so that she can sit near me?” I then told her that her mother-in-law could have the empty seat between us because I was in possession of the ticket and I knew that it would not be occupied. The only downside to my kindness was that her mother-in-law, while very pleasant, was a “larger” woman.

Poundstone put on a really entertaining show.

Here is the view that I had
View From My Seat
(the photo was taken before the venue filled up)

I’m Not Sure If I Was In Heaven Or Hell
Those of you who’ve known me for some time know that I have definite “type” when it comes to women. I will not explain why, but for whatever reason I find myself highly attracted to fit women with short hair. Want to guess the appearance of the stereotypical running women that was at Saturdays Racers’ Expo? Yep. I was surrounded by them. I didn’t want to leave the Expo, hell it was such an abomination (more on this below) that I was almost unable to leave the Expo.

No More ING For Me
ING has sponsored many major paces in the past. Why does Atlanta’s keep getting fucked up?

For last year’s inaugural race their was much publicity about the hydration stations running out of fluids because the weather was hotter than anticipated. Since I did not run, I have no complaints although I am sure I would have been one of the loudest since I require fluids for my long runs and wouldn’t have been carrying any since I paid for them to provide assistance.

But then there is this year…

The organizers should consider themselves lucky that the tornado blew though a couple of weeks ago because it gives them a very convenient excuse.

While I realize that the Race Expo had to be moved from the Georgia World Congress Center to the Georgia Dome due to the tornado, the lack of organization was inexcusable. First, I had to wait at least five minutes to get my bag because no one was “manning” my number group station. All other lines were served as I waited, and waited. Having to wait for things is not to most heinous crime, however it has been a constant and rather annoying theme in my life recently. What is inexcusable is that I got no race shirt! No one told me that there wasn’t a shirt in the bag and I didn’t find out until it was too late. I made the assumption that because I was handed a bag with materials that were personalized for me — having my name, age, number, and shirt size — that the shirt was also inside of the bag handed to me. Apparently the shirt pick-up station was nowhere near the place where I picked up my bag or checked to make sure that the timer chip handed to me was programmed with my information. I am fucking frustrated and I don’t even need another goddamn shirt, it’s just the principle of the matter.

Then there was race day… Unfortunately for the organizers the weather this year couldn’t be much more different from last year’s. Sunday was a cold, windy, and overcast day; not bad for running long distances, but shitty for just about everything else like standing around waiting to get things before and after a race.

The race organizers did a great job of printing promotional signs to advertising ING’s financial services however they seemed to forget to print signs directing people to bag drop off and starting corrals. Hell, even having some volunteers with megaphones would have helped immensely. But signs and volunteers were few and far between so people wandered and fought the masses trying to find out where the hell they were supposed to go.

Lines, and there were many, were incredibly long and slow, which if the weather had been even remotely pleasant would have been bearable. To drop off your bag — you waited in a line. To get food at what appeared to be the only tent handing out food post-race — you waited in a long line. To get you bag post-race — you waited in an even longer line. It was a cluster-fuck of station placement.

Hey, did you know that a half-marathon is 13.3 miles? I didn’t either, because it’s NOT!; it’s 13.1 miles goddamnit! No fewer than four people (myself included) with GPS watches measured the distance 0.2 miles longer than it should have been. While an additional 0.2 miles doesn’t seem like much more, it is brutal when you’ve pushed yourself to your limits and aren’t expecting the extra mileage.

There Was Some Good In The Day Though
I did it and proved that I commit myself to exercising again.

My “official” chip time was 2:05:45. Keep in mind that’s for 13.3 miles. I saw my GPS watch at 13.1 miles was around 2:02-and-change. I ran the first 9.5 miles with my friend Laura (aka “Martha”) who then kept running at the same pace while I slowed. Unfortunately, I was still giving it everything I had, and the two remaining inclines beat the shit out of my feet, knees, and legs.

I want to thank those of you who came out to cheer as well. It was great to see you all out there, especially because I know that if I wasn’t running I probably wouldn’t have gotten out of bed.

ITP Flickr Pic
This is who I was.

Off And Running

It may be the last time that I run this distance on pavement.

And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal…
Current Mood – sore; happy for some reasons, depressed for other
Current Music – Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 26 playing Gogol Bordello — “Wonderlust King”
Website Of The Day – The food that I made this weekend consisted of most of those delicious vegetables I ordered from Moore Farms And Friends.
Exercise (b)Log – running, 13.3 miles
Monthly Foot Mileage – 93.3 miles
Monthly Wheel Mileage – 0 miles
Monday Morning Weigh-In – 195 pounds
Mode Of Transportation To Work – My car
Monthly Marta Rides – 0

March Goals
1) Run no fewer than 75 miles
2) Ride Marta no fewer than ten times (five round-trips)
3) Read at least one book

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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20 Responses to A Mostly ING Edition Of ITP

  1. Steve says:

    The mizzus and I were a little worried that we couldn’t find your finish time. We thought, either he bailed, got hurt, or lost his chip. Glad you were able to make it through.

    Hard to believe it was a CF again after last years’ debacle.

    13.3 is the new half marathon distance… you know inflation affects everything.


  2. Yeah, that’s another of my gripes that I had forgotten about.. When I checked my results when I first got home they were there, now they only show a 10k time for me. WHAT THE FUCK, I RAN THE ENTIRE RACE — GIVE ME SOME CREDIT!

  3. Martha says:

    I think the same thing happend last year to Cathy and/or Debbie. I think eventually it got cleared up.

    I see a strongly worded email, including a screen shot of the GPS data, in the near future.

    I’m not feeling too bad today, we went through another 2 bottles of wine after we left Harold’s. How long did everyone stick around?

    I’m looking forward to running Twisted Ankle with you soon.

  4. Barb says:

    I’m glad you survived, Allan was out there with the Fire Dept bike team and he said the weather was miserable for them. They needed to be riding more, he said is was chilly.

    Hey – if this makes you feel any better, a good friend ran a 1/2 marathon around Northpoint Mall area a few years back, and I think it was 13.6 or 13.7 (with a very steep hill at about 13.5). Everyone going up that hill was bitching….. I guess race organizers can’t figure out how to actually map the courses.

  5. Martha says:

    >13.6 or 13.7 (with a very steep hill at about 13.5)

    That could be a case for justifiable homicide….

  6. Two more bottles of wine? Wow! I made myself some chicken with re-roasted vegetables (which were initially roasted Saturday). I then took a powerful nap. My heels and nipples still hurt; my quads are sore but not painful.

    I looked for Allan but never saw him. What was strange was that they had a perfectly good place to end it at 13.1 but I guess that they wanted us to run through Centennial Park.

  7. Shoot, I just remembered another thing I wanted to mention today — my training weight-loss.

    January 6, 2008: Monday Morning Weigh-In – 206 pounds
    March 31, 2008: Monday Morning Weigh-In – 195 pounds

    WOOO HOOOO!!!!! Eleven pounds!

  8. Steve says:

    I knew we had been seeing “less” of Paulie!! Good Job!


  9. brenan says:

    Great job Paulie — just think what a good base you now have for Twisted Ankle training! Just curious — are you still going to splurge on that nice new Mac? Considering all the time and effort you put it I think you deserve it!

    As for the race itself I actually thought it was a pretty good improvement over last year’s CF though I did not bring a bag to check. I too was a bit perplexed about the distance. Did anyone else out there notice that the last “mile” (as determined by the big ‘1 mile to go’ banner) seemed a bit longer than a true mile? Judging by my pace and previous splits I swear it had to be at least 1.3 miles. Thanks for making me dig deep for nothing ING.

    Also wtf was up with that twisty slick rat maze we had to run through at the end? No mention of that on the Street List they had up on their website. Why couldn’t they have had everyone just keep running down Luckie St. to get to the 26.2 (or .3 or .4) mile mark. Not exactly an ideal set up for exhausted runners racing to get across the finish line. I’m surprised someone didn’t slip and crack their skull against a commemorative Olympic brick.

    Funniest/most surreal moment of the day — watching MARTA staff at the Philips Arena limit the number of still groggy runners going up the escalators at once — almost like the staggered start of the race. Damn this is a long post — sorry.

  10. Martha says:

    B, yes several of us were standing around after comparing GPS…all said 13.3

    I read that the ending was changed at the last minute because of damage from the tornado(there was still fear of falling glass from the Omni Hotel).

    I also read that only 10,793 runners started out of over 14,000 that were regoed. Probably still waiting to drop off their bag.

  11. Great job Paulie — just think what a good base you now have for Twisted Ankle training! Just curious — are you still going to splurge on that nice new Mac? Considering all the time and effort you put it I think you deserve it!

    Shhh, this is part of tomorrow’s blog entry. 🙂

    I heard others mention last year’s start debacle. Since I bailed on last year’s I cannot judge the two. If the weather wasn’t so bad I may not have brought a drop bag — maybe they weren’t expecting so many people to bring them.

    The park was hell especially since I knew that I had already passed the 13.1 mile mark. I kept think “Why are they doing this to me?” I considered stopping at the 13.1 mile mark but then I knew that I needed to keep going to get a better chip time.

    Marta was strange. I kept wondering why they were staggering us; they do no such nonsense at the end of a Falcons or Thrashers games. Plus I wonder how much money Marta makes on these events. Being an experienced Marta rider I can definitely say that the ridership was noticeably different from most days. 😉

    Brenan, I was looking for the Squids as we marched through Old Fourth Ward. I heard that Beth was out at some point, but I didn’t see her.

  12. I also read that only 10,793 runners started out of over 14,000 that were regoed. Probably still waiting to drop off their bag.

    Or too mentally weak to go out in the cold to run.

  13. Brenan says:

    Doh — didn’t mean to give away tomorrow’s installment (should have put “spoiler alert” at top). Yes the Squid Support Crew was down near the bottom of the Carter Center hill. They left shortly after I ran by when Ink Spot (wrapped in a blanket and her pj’s) started raising a fuss about it being so damn cold. As for MARTA, I think they were staggering folks going up the escalator due to that escalator breakdown a few weeks ago downtown. Going down apparently isn’t an issue. Oh, a major props to ING for having so many porta-potties near the start — it was nice to not have to wait long in that line!

  14. No worries Brenan, it merely teases people to come back then. Besides, I thought that most people had forgotten about that by now.

    You must have found the only set of port-a-potties that had no wait. At one point before the beginning of the race I was at the end of the pro-a-potty line and the bag drop-off line at the same time!

  15. Brenan says:

    That must have been an interesting “drop off” line indeed!

  16. HAHA! I didn’t make the connection until you said that.

  17. Beth says:

    Hey Bren — work must be slow today 🙂

    Yep — Ink and I were out there by the Carter Center — hard to see anyone because the pack was making the turn where we were standing. We stayed long enough for the walkers to start coming by so I’m sure you ran right by us. Congrats on the time — anything under a 2:40 (MY best 1/2) is smokin’ by my standards.

  18. stacy says:

    Congrats, Paulie!!! I really truly thought of you during the race. I really truly woke up at about 6am with intents of coming down to the race and after parties. But then it was so cold and icky and I decided to do what you said you would have done if you hadn’t been running. 🙂

    Great job!! Sorry to hear about the snafus, but you still did great!

  19. Michelle says:

    Great job Paulie (and everyone else)!

    Sorry I missed it….

  20. Kay says:

    “I know that if I wasn’t running I probably wouldn’t have gotten out of bed.”

    Yeah…I did contemplate coming out to see you intrepid runners, nut in reality that was me…*snore!*

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