Saturday, September 19, 2009

Marathon Man

This morning my alarm went off at 0405. I dragged myself out of bed and walked to the latrine to shave and brush my teeth. I was thinking as I walked my heel feels great and I am about to screw it up. Three weeks ago I signed up for the US Air Force half marathon. The plan was that I would walk the 13.1 miles with a few aircraft mechanics and see if I could walk the distance in under 3 1/2 hours. In two weeks our base is having a parallel event with the Portland Half Marathon. Several of the guys in my unit are planning on walking it as a Ruck March--that's a march in boots with a 40-pound pack. I said I would try to do the Ruck March which led me to sign up for today's event.

In addition, some Delta Company aircraft mechanics said they would walk the half-marathon distance. So I thought I would have a good walk. Luckily I brought my iPod. Just as this deployment seemed like a good idea until I actually arrived, the marathon walk seemed rational until it started. The Delta guys were gone at the started. They lined up at the back, said they would walk, then started running.

Within 100 meters I was alone at the back behind 300 airmen and 100 soldiers who were running into the dark distance. So I started listening to a Teaching Company lecture. Thirty-five minutes later I was at the two-mile mark and the other walkers had disappeared into the distance. The trail truck was 20 feet behind me, idling its diesel engine as it followed me at 3mph.

So I started running. In about half a mile I was ahead of the next runner so I did not have to listen to the truck any more. I ran three more miles tried to walk and started running again. I ran another two miles, walked a mile then ran again until two miles to go. I felt good. I caught up to Delta, then walked the last two miles.

Lucklily they handed out medals at the finish line because I had to go to a company meeting. On the way I could either change or have breakfast--no contest.
I had eggs, creamed beef on a biscuit, French Toast sticks, fresh oranges and kiwi slices, coffee, mango juice and pineapple juice. I ate everything.

Before the meeting the commander told me I had a new job. More next post.