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Runner. Nerd. Relentless reader and documentary watcher. Beer, vodka, and wine lover. Marathoner. Studier. Music Snob. Traveler. Chocolate lab owner.

Friday, August 27, 2010

An Accidental 17

My training plan had me due for a 12 mile long run last week. I had company coming to town and was planning to party most of the weekend, so I moved the long run to Thursday. It was finals week, so I planned on running the long route to school, and getting a ride home. I ran a great 12, took my test, and decided that I felt good enough to run the 5 home. For the FIRST time I am actually confident that I WILL be able to run a marathon.

Running has always increased my hunger, obviously, but when I kicked it up for marathon training I feel like I'm always starving. After this 17 miles I went out to dinner for prime rib, and I woke up at 2 am to eat the leftovers. This was a really exciting day for me, because not only was 12 the furthest I have ever ran alone, 17 was my furthest ever. My history only includes two half marathons, with the longest training run being 10 miles. I almost always run by myself. I like the feeling of empowerment I get after a long run like this knowing that I had no one to push me but myself. Anyway, here's the rundown from my run.

Once I get out of my neighborhood, the first 3 miles look very similar to this. Nothing but class.

I spend an unreasonable amount of time on this campus. As soon as I run past the hospital I'm in St. Louis' Favorite Park: Forest Park. Forest Park was the site of the 1904 World's Fair, and is 50% larger than Central Park. It has a golf course, driving range, Art Museum, History Museum, Science Center, Opera House, large greenhouse, a skating rink, a boathouse, and several various fields and courts. In short, it's amazing. I plan on running through the park for a more in-depth view another time.

Once I got past the hospitals and into the park, I ran right by the STL Science Center. For those of you not from STL, the Science Center is FREE! This excites the nerdy part of me, which is most of me, in fact.

It wasn't until my run that I realized that this wasn't actually an entrance to the zoo, just a creepy looking display on the corner. They had a great wine-tasting and live music event at the zoo last week, but because of finals week I didn't get to go. I went last year and yelled at some girl for being rude to my friend. The animals were better behaved than I was.

The Missouri History Museum is on the other side of the park. My roommate and I went here the other day, where I learned that there was a very bizarre Marathon ran as part of the 1904 Olympics-the first in the United States. How coincidental, that right as I'm beginning my marathon training, I find out that the first Olympic Marathon in the US was ran in STL in blazing hot weather on dusty roads! Of 32 competitors, the first person to cross the finish line was not the actual winner. According to one source, after 9 miles, he turned around and came back to collect his clothes. According to another, he finished most of the route in a car. The crowd mistakenly thought he was the winner, and he went along with the prank. He was found out and banned for a year, but won the Boston Marathon in 1905. The actual winner, Thomas Hicks, had been given drugs mixed with brandy by his trainers, and required immediate medical attention after finishing. Felix Carbajel, a Cuban runner, ran in street clothes, stopped in an orchard to eat apples which turned out to be rotten, laid down to take a nap, and still came in 4th place. I hope my marathon isn't quite the hot mess that this was.

40 minute carriage ride? Pshhhh...I ran here.

I took this picture on Lindell St, one of the more famous streets in St. Louis. It runs the length of the park and has several old, gorgeous houses. This man was laying at the bus stop, using a hospital gown as a blanket.

I just had to stop in for a quick final...

The run from the Central West End back downtown all looks pretty similar to this wasteland.

Union Station used to be the largest and busiest train station in the world, but now it's a shopping mall and a hotel. It's not a good shopping mall, but since it's close to my house, I appreciate waking up with a hangover and being 5 minutes away from Orange Chicken at Panda Express.

City Garden is a new addition to downtown. It covers a couple blocks and it's full of sculptures, art, and fountains.

Walking seems like a GREAT idea right now.

I plan on celebrating like this after my marathon. If I can lift my arms, that is.

Seeing Busch Stadium means I'm almost home!

Drinking? It IS what we do. It's what I do, anyway.

If I would have had my wallet with me, I would have stopped and ate 6 hamburgers for $5.10. Once when I was here for a 3 am plate of bacon and eggs, I stole a hamburger off the plate of the stranger next to me. He turned, told me it was "the hottest thing" he's ever seen. He also told me he was vegetarian, which confused me, as he ordered 6 hamburgers for himself. Anyway, Kevin, the cook, is amazing. Don't let this questionable location and outdated building scare you away.

Here's a story from my run yesterday: I was walking the last half mile for a cool down, when I noticed my dog was distracted by something behind her. I turned around, and some guy was trying to catch up with her to pet her. Since we were on the cool down, I stopped to let him play. Marley got all up in his business, and he said, "she must like the way I smell. I think I smell pretty good, don't you think?" He got right next to me and put his neck up to my nose so that I would smell him. I said, "yeah you smell pretty good. I don't, I'm all sweaty." He got right next to me again and smelled my neck and said, "you still smell pretty good, even though you're all sweaty." I love my neighborhood.

THIS is why I moved my long run to Thursday. Friday we were playing flip cup, eating vodka gummy bears, and drinking moonshine (from the jar, as it should be done) by noon. It's Wednesday and I'm still recovering.

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