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Big Sur International Marathon: 2014 Recap - Bucket List
Posted: Jun 9, 2014
Ever since I learned of this 26.2 mile creature, the Big Sur Marathon has been on my bucket list. 12 years after my first marathon, I finally had Big Sur on my schedule.
Of course, I had to do the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge. 2 marathons, 2 coasts, 6 days. Yep. I am there.
Boston went well, and was a very fast paced short trip.
California on the other hand, would be a much more relaxing trip.
We (husband/Webmaster Bill and our son Danny) flew into San Francisco on Friday. With no time constraints, the yucky traffic jams were not enjoyable, but not stressful either. We made our way down to Seaside, CA.
Fellow running group friends are also on this trip: Jody Geibl and Catherine Campion. Jody is traveling with her mom, and Cath is here with her husband, Kevin. Jody and Cath are both doing the marathon. Kevin is running the 5K.
Two other Wisconsin women are also here doing the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge: Sheila Wordell and Anne Coffman.
We enjoyed some leisurely sight-seeing, and attended packet pickup and the expo. We had dinner with our running friends and their families.
Marathon morning started very early with a bus ride at something like 4am. We rode to the start, had just enough time to wait in the never ending porta-potty line, and off we went on a 26.2 mile north bound run to Carmel, CA.
It was absolutely stunning. After finishing, we drove the course so that Bill and Danny could see it. It was even more stunning the second time.
We enjoyed another relaxing day in California, and headed back to Wisconsin on Monday.
Sub 4 Marathon State Number 42.
Lifetime Marathon Number 82. 

Boston Marathon: 2014 Recap - New PR for cutting things close
Posted: Jun 9, 2014
We have had seagull trips before. But this was the seagullest one yet.
The only reasonable flights that we could find had us arriving just a few hours before packet pickup ended, and leaving just a couple hours after our anticipated finish. Very little wiggle room.
Just 3 of us on this trip - me, Webmaster Bill (a.k.a. husband), and JoeWee (50 sub 4 buddy).
JoeWee was at Boston last year. His wife was standing where the bombs went off just 20 minutes before it happened.
We arrived in Boston, dashed to packet pickup, scurried through the expo, checked in to our hotel, found a place to eat, returned to hotel, and went to sleep.
Marathon morning, we met up with a group of friends from Wisconsin, most of whom are named Mike. Most of the Mikes were in Wave 1, and JoeWee too. I was Wave 2, corral 1. JoeWee decided to opt down to my wave, so that we could run together, which means we'd have to go to corral 2. If you move to a later wave, they don't let you in corral 1.
For some reason, the BAA decided it was unsafe to allow bags of runners' clothes to be transported from the start to the finish. Anything you brought to the start would have to be carried with you during the run (and had to be about the size of a small sandwich), or thrown away. No clue what this does to prevent terrorism. To my knowledge, warm up sweats have never posed any threat beyond bad fashion.
Anyway, with 30,000 people all waiting around in clothes they never wanted to see again, it looked like a giant homeless convention in Athletes Village.
When it was time for our wave 1 friends to leave, we wished them luck, and decided it was our turn to wait in the porta potty lines. When done with that, it was past time for us to leave for wave 2.  We began briskly walking to the corrals, incrementally speeding up as we realized as we got closer just how late we were. By the time we reached the corrals, we were in an all out sprint. We ducked into corral 2 literally as they were sending us out for the start.
OK. Now its time to run 26.2 miles. This sorta ended up being the more relaxing part of our short trip.
We finished the marathon, and I commented to JoeWee: "OK, we're half way done." We still need to walk over a mile back to the hotel, grab a shower, hop the train, and get to the airport. We have about 2 hours until our flight starts boarding. Plenty of time if you can be assured nothing will go wrong.
And... nothing went wrong. Odd. We arrived at the gate just as they were calling our numbers for lining up in the Southwest number jockey game. We got on the plane, and sat down with a great big sigh of "we did it".
Here's the score:
My 4th Boston Marathon. JoeWee's second. And the first time JoeWee has done the same marathon twice.
Lifetime marathon number 81 for me. 

Ocean Drive Marathon: 2014 Recap - Its a bird. Its a delayed plane.
Posted: Apr 4, 2014
Webmaster Bill and I traveled with Abby and JoeWee Heinrichs to New Jersey for the Ocean Drive Marathon. We flew into Philadelphia, and made the 1 hour 45 minute drive to Cape May.
We arrived at packet pickup, got our stuff, checked out the course map, checked out the vendors, and headed out for some sight seeing.
Our dear JoeWee is a birder. The Cape May area is home to not one, but 2 locations for the Cape May Bird Observatory. JoeWee is a kid in a candy store here, as we begin our excursion at the visitor center.
 Every thing a birder could possibly want or need is in this little gift shop. Including an entire display of about 50 different bird stuffed animals. Each one makes a different sound when you squeeze it. Every single one. Twice. If there had been any more birds, I might have gotten us kicked out of this place.
After shopping, studying, and researching, it was time to head out to look for bird species for JoeWee to add to his lifetime list. Despite the rain, drizzle, fog, wind and 40 degree temps, the 3 of us are willing participants. We smile and nod and look and listen and agree when JoeWee bursts out "Hey Look! A paisley chested puffin swallow! Those must be its breeding colors."
We toured the area via nature trails, near the ocean, and past inland pools. The sound of the pounding ocean off in the distance, wind and rain in our faces... ok, it was a lot better than it sounds. A closed pier offered a closer view of the paisley chested puffin swallow, so, rebels that we are, we ignored the sign and got a closer look.
Race morning weather wasn't a whole lot better. 50 degrees, rain, and wind. Abby ran the 10 mile, which followed the first 10 miles of the marathon course. The last 8 miles of the marathon were dead into the wind. All you could do was lean in and look down.
At mile 23, we passed a 'Bridge Out' sign. We zig-zagged past staggered concrete barriers and up a huge bridge approach. It was a 2 lane road, only about a foot or 2 of shoulder on each side. When we got to the top, there was a section where all the concrete was gone, except for the steel girders and shoulder. Fortunately, they put some wet plywood down for us that nearly stretched the entire center portion. This offered a wonderful view of the raging current about 30 feet below. This would be a good place to pay attention to footing.
JoeWee finished in 3:27, and somehow ran a 4 minute negative split. (In normal-human-speak, that means he ran the second half 4 minutes faster than the first). Quite impressive, since the second half was considerably tougher with the wind. Abby finished her 10 miler in a very solid 1:35.  I finished in 3:42.
We didn't have much time to spend after the race. We grabbed a quick snack, changed out of completely soaked clothes, and headed to Philly for the cheese steak challenge. We got cheese steak sandwiches from both Pat's and Geno's... apparently a world famous rivalry. We concluded that they were both very tasty, and we could not tell them apart.
We spent a little time sight seeing in Philly, saw the Liberty Bell, and the Rocky steps. More rain and wind kept us from doing much else.
We headed to the airport. Our flight was supposed to be at 5:30, back to Milwaukee. Abby and JoeWee were headed to Denver on a 7pm flight. Weather in New York caused our flight to get cancelled, and we couldn't get out until the next morning. Abby and JoeWee were delayed for miscellaneous reasons until 11pm. Yuck and yuck. However, our new travel plans treated us to a 3 hour layover in Detroit. While in Detroit, I learned that it takes me 14 minutes to briskly walk from one end of the terminal to the other. Did I mention I forgot my book at home?
OK... here's the score...
JoeWee and I both have 41 sub 4 marathon states.
I have 79 lifetime marathons. 
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