This may very well be the biggest undertaking of my life. I have signed up to run a half-marathon.
You're probably thinking to yourself... "Derek? 13.1 miles? Are you ready for that? Do you think you can actually do it?" And you would be perfectly sane in that line of thinking. I've asked myself the same thing over and over. But, somehow I have found myself signed up for this. So crazy or not, here's how it all came about.
My life-long friend, Margaret, posted a link on Facebook last week suggesting that a group of us old friends get together and run this. She thought it would be a great way to reunite with old friends while doing something healthy for ourselves as well. There'll be bands and other entertainment all along the race course. The race winds all around through some of New Orleans' most beautiful historic areas. Then after the race, there's a concert in City Park featuring Cowboy Mouth and Sister Hazel. Cool stuff.
To be honest, I half-way thought about it and moved on. But Margaret persisted. And then I started noticing others that were talking about doing it. And it looked like a fun group of folks. At least 20 years ago they were. So I responded with a "Maybe" and started mentioning it to Heather.
I figured she'd say I was crazy. But she didn't. So I kept bringing it up in conversation, and she acted like it was ok with her. Hmmmm.....
So the other night, I told her that I thought I really thought that this was something I wanted to do. It would give me something to work toward (actually a whole lot to work toward), and it would be a great weekend trip for the 2 of us. We've been wanting to get down to New Orleans anyway, we just haven't actually sat down and made the plans to go.
Then yesterday, we had a meeting for some City budget stuff, and the mayor asked if I was sticking to my running on a daily basis. I then opened up my mouth and told him about the 1/2 marathon. His face lit up and he got all excited, and then he started telling me about how he had run the full marathon in New Orleans last year and how much fun it was. He kept saying how great it was that I was doing this, and how fulfilling it was going to be when I completed the race.
Well even if I wanted to change my mind I'm not going to now. He's going to keep asking me about it when I see him and he's going to make sure I continue to train and prepare myself for it. Which really is a good thing. He's an avid runner, and he can probably offer some great advice. And I can sure use all the advice I can get.
I got online yesterday and registered. I'm in with both feet now.
So. February 28th, 2010. 7am. New Orleans. 13.1 miles.
Well the turkey was great and the dressing was fine, We saw all the kinfolks and had a good time, We had leftovers for supper and we took out the trash, Now get ready for game day and the Iron Bowl bash...
The game's in the east, over by Opelika, You can ride in your car or hitch on with a biker, Or if you ain't got the ticket, the time or the gas to burn, You can sit on the couch and suffer through Gary and Verne...
Auburn comes in seven and four on the season, And if you've got the time, they've got the reasons, Injuries, depth, coaching changes, they've rehearsed it like singers, Plus Tubberville left and took all his fingers...
But the War Eagle folks aren't in a 'tizik', They got a new coach, that fella named Chizik, They've won seven games, they're as happy as can be, And, shoot, 3 of those wins were in the S.E.C....
They like their new coach, and if they don't, that's a shame It just took folks six months to remember his name, But at Bama our coach is more well-known by far, 'Bout what you'd expect ---from a movie star...
Auburn's fired up and hoping for the upset, They're buying up all the toilet paper they can get, But when the Tide starts risin', and their knees turn to jelly, They might need that paper for the upset in their belly...
This year Bama's eleven and oh again, And it's a mighty big shame that Pride is a sin, 'Cause when we say "Roll Tide!" we sure don't mumble, If you're a Bama fan it's hard to be humble...
And speaking of humble, Auburn's guy, Ben Tate, Came right out and said that he's the best in the state! He was serious, he meant it, it wasn't a joke, I guess nobody told all of those Heisman folks?
See, they think the best back is that Ingram kid, Mark Because, as they say, "he runs it out of the park", With a few good blocks we'll hear Eli's call, loud and true, "Touchdown Alabama!, ball carried by Twenty-Two"...
But the Bama defense has really played well, It's even been described as "six seconds of hell", The Tide comes from all sides, like water jets from a fountain, And in the middle of 'hell' stands a mighty big mountain...
Tiger fans should remember Rolando McClain, It's really quite easy, his name rhymes with 'Pain', That's what they'll be feelin' from this all star head-hunter, And a busy day at work for the War Eagle punter...
We expect a good game and the licks will be violent, The Tide fans hope that Jordan-Hare will be silent, Except for the cheers for the crimson and white, As they light up the scoreboard and tell Aubie, "Good night"...
They say "It ain't braggin', if you really can do it", And the Crimson Tide is ready to get to it, On the menu Friday night is War Eagle gizzard, And then, next week, "Here! Lizard, Lizard, Lizard..."
I don't even remember the last time I sat down and wrote on here. I know it's not really an excuse, but I truly have been so busy I haven't had time for much at all.
I haven't even written about Alabama football. However, we have been on the quad before and after each home game so far this year. It's been great, and of course we love getting together with everybody. And speaking of football, what the hell is wrong with Lane Kiffin? What a whiney little jerk!
We're still working on the fertility thing. Our first round of IUI resulted in a negative test. But we're not letting that get us down. We're still doing the shots and trying for a baby, and when God wants it to happen for us it will. We're also looking at adoption agencies and trying to decide which one will be best for us.
We stayed on the road all this past weekend. Mama's sister, Laura, passed away last Thursday. The funeral was Saturday in Graceville, Florida. So Heather and I drove down to Mama's Friday evening and went to the funeral with them. Then Saturday evening we came back to Mama's, and then back home, so that we could be up and in Birmingham at the fertility clinic for bloodwork on Sunday morning. We ate sushi for lunch and did some shopping while we were in Birmingham, and then came home and chilled out the rest of the evening.
I ended up getting the Associate Finance Director job here at the City. The fact that I was doing 2 jobs is a large part of why I've been so busy. But we have interviewed for my old position and hope to have it filled in the next week. Then things can begin to get better.
Thanks for being patient. I have still been keeping up with you guys. Just haven't been able to share.
I'm beginning to think I may need an ark. It has rained and rained and rained in Tuscaloosa. We've had our ferns out in the yard for the past week, and they are loving it! And my grass has never been greener.
But there are times when I wish the rain would stop. And there were several of those times this past weekend.
Thursday night, Heather came in from the hospital and said that she thought something had bit her all over. She was itching and her skin was blotchy. She took some benadryl and went to bed. Then Friday morning, she woke up looking like a freak show. She was swollen all over and was covered in hives. So she went to the doctor and found out that she was having a reaction to the antibiotics that she was taking for the crud she'd had the week before. They gave her a shot and put her on a week of steroids, and it seems to be helping a little.
Friday night, our friend Jessica came over while Chris was doing ballgame parking stuff with the Scouts. We sat outside until the rain forced us back in, and then Heather and Jessica worked on shelling the peas I had brought home Thursday.
Notice how Heather looks like a China-man with her swollen eyes.
Saturday morning, we woke to heavy showers outside. I had gone out to the Quad at noon on Friday and put our tents out. So on Saturday, we just had to take the chairs and cooler and food. We got ready and headed on over and were on the Quad a few minutes past 8am. Chris and Jessica arrived shortly after.
We normally have a huge tailgating group. But this weekend, the usual folks weren't making it out there for one reason or another. So since it was just the 4 of us, we decided to keep things simple.
But our lives are never simple.
It was raining when we got out on the Quad. And when we got to our spot, one of the tents had collapsed under the weight of all the rain. So I got absolutely drenched from the start. But I got the tent somewhat put back together, and we finally got things set up so we could relax.
Sorry those pics are so blurry. Something funny was going on with the camera on my phone.
The sun finally came out, and of course the Tide rolled and rolled! It was a great day!
We did end up getting wet one more time before we left the Quad, so yesterday I hung everything out to dry before packing it all back up.
This should be a big weekend for us. Arkansas may put up a fight. I'm sure we'll be ready for them though.