Monday, October 15, 2007

Denver Marathon Recap....Soaked.

The Denver Marathon was quite an experience. I'm not sure if you saw our weather, but let's just say it wasn't ideal. The temp at the start of race was 36 degrees and it had been raining all morning.

So there I began with a $2 Target poncho for raingear and an old pair of socks for gloves. My plan was to peel these things off and toss them once the rain stopped. Unfortunately, the rain and wind never stopped. My poncho did come off, but my sock gloves were needed to keep my hands from going totally numb. Sadly, the rain soaked them through, so they did have to come off around mile 15.

Overall, the race went great despite the weather. I had planned on hitting the wall early, so I tried to maintain a slower pace for the first 20 miles. Well, for some reason, the wall never came. I got a second wind at mile 21 and picked it up for the remaining 5.2. I crossed the finish line at 3:38:17 and promptly made my way to my car to change into the dry fleece shirt & pants plus slippers waiting for me. The dry, warm clothes were great, but my car's seat warmers were better and had never felt so good.

Thankfully Tanya & the girls did make it out to the race and caught me a few times. Although, the cold, wet weather finally won and Zoe began to meltdown forcing Tanya to take the girls home instead of to the finish line.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Team Continued...

Continuing where I left of yesterday...

JIM: He was a whistle-blowing, cowbell ringing, bag of lymph node fluid carrying machine! Pretty cool that he had lymph node surgery one week and was out on the course cheering for me the next. I've thought a lot about his melanoma. It's very easy for me to think about "what if it was me". I don't believe there is a manual out there that explains how to process all the thoughts, feelings, emotions & ramifications that come with finding out your have cancer. If it was me, I think I would want to handle it the same way I have seen Jim take it on.

It reminds of the "David & Goliath" story from the Bible. David was an optimist. There is no human explanation why, as a young teenager, David was able to take down a giant who could have crushed him in an instant. Jim is an optimist. He knows the seriousness and difficulties that lie ahead, but also knows that his optimism flows from a Source of strength, resources & power that is far beyond human explanation. I like that about him. God is good.

Keep running the race with perseverance Jim!!

PS: I would be remiss not to thank Tanya & Anne for hanging at home and taking care of the kids so the rest of us could share in this experience. Thank you!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Team...

I have to shout out some thanks to the team...

LAUREN & DANA: Both girls played a key role during the race. Whenever I came to one of their cheering locations, they ran up to me with some Gatorade and followed me until I finished my drink and took the bottle back. They were great and such an inspiration to have their cute little faces greet me all along the course.

MOM & DAD: Mom was a master photographer which was great until I found she had taken about 50 photos of me getting the post race complimentary massage! She was also the master worrier...what else could a mother do?? So when eight people gather all wearing the same t-shirt, people are bound to wonder what is going on. Dad mingled around with Java by his side and answered all those questions shedding light into what Team Ehrlich was all about.

CHRIS: She was by far the most vocal on the team! I don't think she stopped shouting and cheering for three and half hours. Even when she drove past me chartering the rest of the team in their mini-van, she was hootin' & hollerin' out the window. She also made a huge "Go Woody" banner with two tomatoes for the O's in my name. What's with the tomatoes? I hate tomatoes and her girls love calling me Uncle Tomato! I love it too!

WES: Around mile 19.5…Wes hopped on the course and ran with me for the last 6 miles. I felt chatty for about the first mile of our run together and then I fell silent for the remainder. Even so, it was a special time for me to have him run by my side…a wonderful parallel for what he has done for me my entire life. He was definitely the strong tugboat pulling me with a mental rope to the finish line.

JIM: Check back tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

NH Marathon Recap...

Well…marathon number two is in the books. It was a perfect day in so many ways. I’m typing this post on the plane as I head back to CO. So many thoughts and emotions swirl around my head. I’ll share of few of my thoughts & experiences this week.

Let's talk about the race first. I had heard the NH Marathon was the best “small town” marathon in the country. They certainly lived up to that designation as far as I could tell. The weather was perfect and the course was ideal for running.

Putting those things aside, the team you see above was by far the BEST support team a runner could ever desire! I talked a bit about my motivation for this race last Friday. It was amazing to see my family rally around supporting that cause. They all appeared at many places along the course and were by far the loudest & craziest fans around. You know that’s true when other runner’s start shouting….”I want to be Woody”. Imagine running through the shoot towards the finish line and having everyone in the picture above waiting & cheering for you steps away from the finish. It was simply amazing and I’m grateful. Something I will remember for a long time to come.

With Team Ehrlich behind me every step of the way, how could I not have my best run ever?!? My ambitious goal was to finish at 3 hours & 30 minutes. I’m please to say I came across the finish line at 3:29:11.