Thursday, November 5, 2015

Savannah Rock N Roll #10 - The " * "Race

What in the world are you talking about now Eugene? An asterisk race? Just'll see.

I can tell you that after running so many marathons I've got a system down. However that doesn't necessarily mean that I don't worry. Savannah is probably one of the closest races to our own climate, terrain and general feel of home. With that said I am really wanting to have a PR. With the races stacking up afterwards I not sure I'll have a better chance than here.

I've been told that the course is one of the best in scenery, support and friendliness. We have never really spent time in Savannah before so it would be great to spend a few days here and see the sites.....unfortunately I'm on a fast pace schedule. No time to Lolly-gag around.....we fly out Friday morning and will fly back Saturday right after the race......literally within a few hours afterwards. Bummer.

We did arrive early enough on Friday to see a few sites and visit downtown area. Found out how hard it was to find a parking place in the historic area off the river. That should have been a signal that we weren't going to be able to find a spot for the race......duh, it didn't. Parked all the way down at one end and then walked back along the river. Not really what I wanted to do the day before a race but I was fine.

We had a nice lunch and then enjoyed the sites around town. Looked like there was a lot to see in a very short period of time. Figures.....I packed these trips in too tight and we won't be able to enjoy like we hoped. My wife wanted to be back for church that Sunday so we intended on flying back right after the race.....I mean RIGHT AFTER. A few hours after. I should be fine.

We stopped at a brewhouse downtown and enjoyed a cold one. I really wanted to be careful because I wanted to push tomorrow for a best PR. It was fun.....maybe we can return some day.

Dinner was an adventure.....I was really tired and didn't want to go all the way back downtown and struggle with parking. I looked over the fence right next door to the hotel and saw a restaurant.....a bit of a ghetto looking venue. I asked my wife if she was adventurous. Note to self: probably not a great idea to eat at a questionable place before a marathon. Although the place was ghetto, the chef only having a few teeth, the waitress appearing like a vulture as we were the only customers, the dessert being a piece of cake left over from the wanna-be major campaign party the previous night and the owner (self named The Lady) wearing outrageous body covering spandex.....the food wasn't half bad!

The morning of the race I grab the hotel shuttle since we found out there wasn't going to be parking. My wife took Uber a few hours later since I was leaving early. One of the guys in our van was probably going to be in the top 25. Pretty cool. We get to the race and I settle into my normal routine of preparing. Preparing my mind and my physical being. I eat my breakfast and wait the wait. The weather was warm so I decided to wear my tank top.....a departure from my normal gear. It promised to be warm today. In the high 70's to start the race.

Race time begins and I chat with several people. Everything is feeling really good. For some reason I'm in corral 17...... Really? That se ms really far back. I wonder what I put on my entry form. For that matter I wonder how many people lied on their entry form. I realize this quickly as the race starts and I'm having to zig and zag around everyone. This really hurts my time. I really like the fact that people are encouraged to run a marathon.....don't get me wrong.....but if you plan on walking the race within the first five minutes you should not be in corral 12!

My pace is great. I'm feeling great. I'm feeling strong. It's hot! People are dropping by the wayside quickly. Temperature hits 84 degrees and water is a nessecity. However cups are in short supply! Really? We haven't even got to the half way point and you are running out?! People with garden hoses are out as we run through the neighborhood. We grab a swallow and soak out head......not like I'm not already soaked with sweat. I've never been so wet except when I ran in the rain. I find out layer the humidity was 99%!

I was pushing good despite the temperature. My pace was set at 4:50 finish time and I was only 2 minutes off of that time due to the quick bathroom breaks......I peed in the bushes! I wanted a PR and didn't want to waste time! BAM mile 14.5 or so the state police was turning runners around. The heat was too extreme and they were shortening the race. No! No! I tired running around the officer but no doing, he stopped me. Crap!

At this point with a PR in my grasp I was deflated. I slow my pace and relax. Chat with a few other runners and met a new friend from Atlanta. Mike and I enjoy the run back which adds up to maybe 18-20..,..I'm not really counting at this point. Sure I got a official finish was 3:30.....NOT! Oh well I get to listen to rascal Flats the headline band and chill out waiting for my wife. She was set up at mile 20 to cheer me on......I never reached that mark due to the shortened route.

So I finished the race (what there was of it), got my finisher metal, got my heavy metal for number six Rock n Roll, my jacket (like I needed that today!) but marathon number 10 will go down in the record books with a big asterisk (*). Just like the record holders for the baseball cheats......I didn't really do 26.2.

Dinner downtown after a baby wipe bath and we head to the airport.....mark through this journey and note that we need to return to Savannah again some time to enjoy the city. Rock n roll set me a free sign up for another race due to the race being cut short. Two people had died during or shortly after the race and over 17 more taken to the hospital. Countless others suffered. I won't complain......I live to run another day!

Have a great day my friends. Have a Fun Run
Eugene Thompson
Run Eugene Run

Monday, November 2, 2015


For the last few years.....honestly I cannot remember how long I've noticed this.....every time I look at the clock I have seen 9:11. It immediately recalls the tragedy on September 11, 2001. First let me begin by saying that I'm writing this with all due respect for those that lost their lives and sacrificed much during this horrific event. My writing this is not meant to detract or take lightly from those that have suffered. I mearly want to relate what I have experienced regarding......I'm going to call it phenomenon.

Why a phenomenon? What else can it be? It happened so many times and I wasn't sitting there waiting for it to happen. It just always occurred. Maybe my conscience was trying to tell me something? Actually that was what I was worried about. All I could think of was tragedy. Was something in my life about to happen that was devastating? Was something looming over my future? I had no clue but it was getting a bit eerie. My wife thought I was crazy. It was all in my head. Yeah! I know! It is in my head but it kept popping up!
So finally I began trying to take a picture of the various times that I saw 9-11 so my wife would believe me. It wasn't like I was prepared to take a snap shot as I wasn't looking for it. I missed many of them because it quickly flipped to 9:12 before I got the camera or phone out. It was on my phone, on my alarm clock beside the bed, on my phone at the office, on the tv, on the clock on the stove. Over and over. Of course I look at my phone often so it makes sense but I still thought it was weird. 
So this last week I finally came to what might have been the answer. After several years of worrying about an impending could be something entirely different. Like......a great day! Like something new and fresh! Like a crazy new adventure beginning.....maybe! Possibly! What would be the odds?
For months I had been working on the procurement of another architecture firm in Richmond VA. Little did l know how much time and effort it would take. Offers and counteroffers. Exceptions and inclusions. Agreements and exhibits. It was endless. Initially we had established the end of July would be our closing date. Great we were all set. Unfortunately that was not the case. More paperwork back and forth. Some things we couldn't complete until the other firm provided us with answers and information.
So we pushed on......until the end of August. I drew the line in the sand.....the last day of more! After all my bank was pushing me to close as couldn't go on forever. Or could it? 
All parties agreed to September 4th......however my attorney, who had done many of these, had his doubts. He said there was just too much paperwork to push through. We still needed some, information from their attorney, accountant, landlord.....on and on. Once we had it, we had to incorporate into our agreements......and then the bank had to do its underwriting. Oh this was crazy!
So we set the fall back date in case the 4th didn't work.......yep, you guessed it.....Septemebr 11th 2015......9/ way! I asked the banker and attorney are you sure you want me to close on that day? However I really began to think.....what if this is what I have been waiting for? What if this was the reason for all these signs appearing? 
Who knows! But that was the day. I looked at it as a great opportunity....a great day.....a great adventure on a day that most remember the tragedy. I now will always approach 9/11 as a pretty awesome event in my personal and professional career. Of course I'll remember the sacrifice others gave first, but then after that, I can smile with recognition that this day was rememberable for all the perfect reasons.
Crazy I know! Now let's see if I still see the 9:11 on the clock all the time.
Have a great day my fellows TIBs. Remember your loved ones and hug them daily. Remember your blessings and be thankful for them daily. Remember what others have given so that you can receive a reward.
Eugene Thompson
ET This I Believe