Here is my better half and I after completing the Indianapolis Marathon. You can see I had a bit of a sunburn afterwards. I know how ironic. I am always preaching about wearing sunscreen and now you know why. I think I was more sore from the sunburn on my arms than anything else. The big story is my wife Julie, the mother of 3 finished the marathon. I always knew she had it in her. The reason I married her was not only because she was beautiful, but is lion-hearted. She has a big heart and a driving will-power like none other. Julie found out just how much heart she had on Saturday. A marathon breaks many folks down not just physically, but mentally. Not Julie. She was up to the challenge and I could not be more proud of her.
When you cross the finish line you feel like you can do anything. I know it should not take a 26.2 mile run to remind myself this point, but it certainly is some nice re-inforcement. In today's day and age of folks rushing around and losing sight of what really matters, it is tough to remember this. But when you run for over 4 hours like I did you have plenty of time to reflect. I like dedicating certain miles to the loved ones and friends that have really made a difference in my life. Mile one will always go to my grandparents. They were my marathons of inspiration when I was growing up and always made me feel special and full of confidence. My Grandfather Hayes was right when he told me that many kids do not get to really know their grandparents. So we both made sure we took advantage of the opportunity and it certainly has made a huge difference in my life. My kids were talked about numerous times during the race and I did quite a few miles for them. I certainly used that tremendous energy boost it gave me to post my best time yet. My parents always get mile 26. They taught me to finish what you started and always strive to do your best. So believe it or not, I called my Mom during the race and told her the last mile was for her and Dad. Everybody around me got inspired and we all flew toward the finish line. I told them my parents would be proud!
I feel like I also owe many runners I spoke to during the race special thank yous. The nice couple from Michigan really helped push me along. His wife actually ran 4 Boston and New York marathons and she helped keep her husband and I on the right track. By mile 20 we both were feeling like our legs weighed a thousand pounds. But we got talking about Drew Brees and all the good food we were going to eat that night and before you knew it the last six miles was done. Yes, I even talk about food during marathons, not just during my weathercasts! Family was the real big theme and I cannot thank Julie's sister Shelli Krings enough for holding up the fort for my wife and I this past weekend. She drove all the way from Oshkosh, Wisconsin and if that was not enough, she took my kids to soccer, gymnastics, birthday parties, out for food, and the list goes on. I think my wife and I had it easy compared to her this weekend. Thanks Shelli! Here she is with Megan, Abbey, and Lauren this weekend. THEY ABSOLUTELY LOVE THEIR AUNT SHELLI!
This was my 4th marathon and it still holds true that women seem to be the most consistent runners out there and many times the strongest. There were several women that I spoke to that were running their second marathon in three weeks. They were told to walk to the finish line of the Chicago Marathon due to the extreme heat. They still got their medals in Chicago, but told me of how lucky they felt that nothing bad happened to them. Several people passed out before their eyes and many refreshment stands were in fact out of water and sports drinks. It was a horrible combination. I told them I did not order that weather up and was instead responsible for nearly perfect running conditions on Saturday. We had a race time temperature of 59 degrees and it was in the upper 60s by the end of the race with a nice cool breeze and low dewpoints. Everybody around me got really motivated when they found out we would not have to worry about the 80s until the day after this big race was over! The State parks we ran through were absoulutely gorgeous with plenty of sugar maples lighting up the sky along with the sunshine. If you have not run the Indianapolis Marathon in Lawrence, Indiana I highly recommend it. If you are looking to get into running as a hobby like I did, I really think you should go for it! I started out running about 4 years ago and usually only lasted 2 miles. But I stuck with it and made it into something I can cherish for a lifetime. If I did it, believe me so can you! Thanks for everybody's great support during my training and like most runners I am already setting my next goal.
It looks like I am heading to Jacksonville Beach, Florida to run in an inaugural marathon dedicated solely for raising money and beating breat cancer once and for all! It is the first of its kind in the entire country. It will be in February and it is called the Run 26.2 with Donna Marathon to beat Breat Cancer. Donna Hicken whom I worked with in Jacksonville, Florida at WTLV TV-12 is the founder of the event and she has had breast cancer not once, but twice over the last few years. Her bravery day in and day out along with her dedication to the cause will inspire me to not only help make a difference but break 4 hours. Hopefully we can get a whole entourage of folks from our viewing area like we had down in Lawrence this past weekend. There were at least 45 runners from the Lafayette viewing area. We had a huge showing! Great job Greater Lafayette! Let's keep it going! Start booking those plane tickets to Florida. Mom, have my room ready!
Speaking of ready....are you ready for some rain! Rain returns to the forecast and this time it may wipe out our entire rain deficit. More details will be coming your way here on the blog. Run, run, run and let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.