Sunday, April 6, 2008

Running Streaks.........

I don't know how everyone else feels about running streaks but I have always wanted to do a first year marathon and then keep doing it every year.

My wife and I ran the Country Music Marathon in it's first two years but didn't make it back for the third year. I don't remember the why of not going back. It may have been who the band was, it may have been the cost to get to Nashville, it may have been that the 2nd year was in the mid 80's and I think our hottest day during training was the mid 50's, it may have been that I tore cartilage playing soccer but the bottom line is we didn't make it back.

I still remember when my Grandma's consecutive streak (of 10 in a row) got broken, I was so disappointed. I had failed to get my entry in on time. I received it on a Wednesday and mailed it the following Monday but it didn't make it in time. They had filled the marathon in a record number of days.

That was in 2003 as well, so two marathon streaks were broken. If you are wondering about the knee, I would have run Grandmas on the torn cartilage as my guess is it would have been like 99. In 99, I had to run Grandmas with torn cartilage in the other knee because my surgeon would not perform the surgery before the event as I had made the mistake of saying I had a marathon in 6 weeks. He didn't want me to abuse it after surgery. He did the surgery a couple of weeks after the marathon, I still need to write about that marathon, it was an interesting day.

I did keep one streak alive in 2003, after the surgery I completed Twin Cities Marathon (TCM). I was under-trained as I had to ramp fairly quickly and didn't quite get a good base back. Yet another story.

The question is how many runners have streaks that they will do anything to keep going?

One year ar TCM, I passed a runner around mile 3 who was on crutches. He had run every previous TCM and wanted to keep his streak alive. I believe he did. At Grandmas and TCM, I would always run past an older runner (yes older than me). We got to know him over the years as we stayed at the same hotel in Duluth. Each year I would look forward to seeing him on the course. He had severe knee issues but kept doing both events and if I remember right, he only missed the first Grandmas and had done every TCM. He wanted to keep his streaks going and was putting off knee replacement surgery to do so.

My last streak got broken in 2005, it marked the first year that I did not complete a marathon. I had a "did not start" at Grandmas as I had sprained an ankle a couple of weeks ahead of it. I debated running it anyway but since the family had other conflicts, I decided that I better give it a rest. Now if my streak was still going I would of course have done it. I then had a "did not finish" at TCM. It was a hot day and I had severe stomach cramps after mile 10 or so. I lost the battle with the cramps at mile 22 1/2. After throwing up for 10 or 15 minutes, I did not want to continue. I still regret that decision occasionally, when I think was it my pride that didn't want me to go om. I hate getting sick especially in front of people and I knew if I went on I would have continued to get sick. Now I like to think it was the aftermath of 97 that I was trying to prevent, I need to write about that marathon too, but who knows, the bottom line was that my streak of running at least one marathon a year ended that day.

Which leads me back to the Chippewa Moraine 50k, it is a first year event within a couple hours of our house. It is not a marathon but just a bit longer, it is run on trails, there can't be many spectators nor runners for that matter, it is my kind of event. I think this may be another streak in the making, check back next year..................

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