Our Maumelle adventure began bright or should I say dark and early on Saturday morning. I met Kelly and Michele at Team 1 and then we were on our way to Sherwood to pick up Cheryl.
From the very beginning the trip was an adventure, we were taking the "back way". It was dark I'm not used to these roads, Cheryl was in the back seat and we missed a turn because she didn't tell me to turn until I was just past it, of course she might argue differently! LOL
We made it to Maumelle right on time, Tom was already speaking when we got there so I didn't get to hear the customary "good morning crack heads". That is the whole reason I went.. no not really but for some reason I love it!
Starting off we crossed Maumelle blvd. into the "Country Club of Arkansas" a very nice neighborhood with large new houses. During the first bit I was talking to a lady that said we would come to Mc Donald's about 4 miles in. I thought to myself surely I can make it 4 miles, which we all know is not always the case.
Kelly and Michele broke away for a little while, Cheryl and I kept a nice easy pace, we had a long way to go. The training group was running a 14 mile course. Cheryl and I had discussed earlier in the week we needed to do at least 16. I was schemeing to make it 18, I spoke to both Michele and Kelly about it. Of course I was worried I might be the one who wouldn't make it!
I had also mentioned it to Cheryl and she said "we'll see".
As we were running through this neighborhood I could see up ahead a port a pottie right on the side walk in front of a house under construction. At the time I only thought I needed to pee, Kelly also needed to go. When we approached it a girl had just come out and was waiting for her friend. I mentioned that before I started running I would have NEVER thought of using a construction site port a pottie, of course we all know now that they are my best friends!!
When it was my turn I was able to take care of quite a bit of business that I didn't know needed taking care of. Oh I almost forgot Cheryl had given me one of her anti-poop pills when we were on the way to the meeting place. So my first thought was boy I'm glad I got that out of my system, my second was maybe those pills don't work.
When we got to the turn around point we decided to keep going, so we went as far as we could before turning around. I think we were able to add on almost a mile.
On the way back out we passed by the friendly port a potty once again, on a run where I don't know when the next bathroom will appear I try to take advantage of the one in front of me. Again I didn't think I really needed it, but you know lets try. Once again I had a bit of business that was taken care of. It was such a relief to not have any emergencies. That port a potty is my second favorite one but as much as I admire and apreciated him, he doesnt' hold a candle to my port a buddy I mean potty in Cabot.
The rest of the run I never needed a bathroom again unfortunately the same couldn't be said for Kelly. She normally doesn't have any issues but her stomach was upset yesterday and she was having to make a lot of stops and was VERY uncomfortable inbetween stops.
We were just running along and other than poor Kelly's stomach things were going ok. Well kind of, we had reached one cross roads and the instructions were a little confusing. I never actually even looked at the directions so I can't say for sure, but about 8 or 9 miles into our run we thought we had missed a turn. We were on an endless up and down, up and down and it just looked like this road was leading to nowhere. About this time we caught up with an older gentleman who was standing looking as his directions saying he was lost. We told him we thought we might be lost too and he could stick with us if he wanted to. He seemed like a really nice man but he had a lot of yucky stuff on his mustache, I guess he couldn't feel it there, anyway I couldn't look at him because it made me want to throw up. I'm sorry nice man but yuck I just can't look at that stuff :(
Eventually we took a walk break and he went on without us, but we caught up with him when he had stopped a motorist to ask for directions. The friendly motorist didn't recognize the name of the street we were looking for but he did give the man directions on how to get back to civilization. We decided to go with the man... on one had this was a very good decision and on the other not so much. We had to climb a couple of steep hills, but then we were rewarded with a beautiful view and a nice long steady down hill at the end of which was civilization. We turned right and there was an EZmart... Kelly desperately needed a bathroom. Of course we all know my history with EZmart, so Kelly was a bit apprehensive and was looking for other alternatives. I told her we had to at least check, and sure enough right when you walk in the door was a sign that said "CLEAN PUBLIC RESTROOMS" relief!
While Kelly was in the bathroom we were trying to figure out where we were and where we had gone wrong. The cute young guy working there was very helpful. Of course he was also laughing at us. We told him we were lost and he said "you are in Maumelle, how can you be lost!" Funny, but then I explained we were off course. That we were trying to run 18 miles and we had missed a turn somewhere. We gave him our directions and they didn't seem to make much sense to him either, finally he remembered there was a map of Maumelle on the wall behind us. Cheryl and Michele spent a lot of time looking at it and realized that we had never been lost to begin with. We should have just kept going on the road we had been on.
Oh yea, great!! Um oh crap that means we have to run back up those stinking hills!!!
It really did turn out to be a good thing, Kelly got to use a clean bathroom, although it wouldn't flush. Luckily I thought about pouring water into the toilet bowl, and luckily there was a bucket in there that made it possible.
After we finished using the facitilies and thanked the guy for his help we headed back the way we came.
On the way back my phone started ringing, it was just the generic ring tone so I didn't answer it, well it kept on ringing so finally I had to answer. It was a customer who had a problem with his car that he had just picked up the day before. I'm talking to him and I'm running at the same time, finally I told him I'm sorry but I'm in the middle of an 18 mile run and I have not pen and paper to take down your number. I did have the # on caller ID and I called Arland gave him the information and asked him to please deal with it. At the end of the conversation with the customer we had a big hill in front of us, Michele asked if I needed to walk so I could make a phone call. I said NO I am going to run this F*&^% hill first!! My anger got me up that hill in no time!!
Once we got back to the spot where we had taken the detour we starting back in the direction we had been running. Wouldn't you know it, but one block away was our turn.... one block!!!
BUT it was a good thing we made that detour because it helped us get our 18 miles without having to add on anything at the end.
Poor Kelly she was still miserable, after a few turns we were back on Maumelle Blvd, but we didnt' see any gas stations or fast food restaurants. Across the hwy though were some business buildings, Kelly kept looking in that direction to see if she could figure out what they were. Finally she couldn't wait any longer and we ran across the hwy and through some trees and there was a Nursing Home/rehab place. Kelly went to the door rang the buzzer, waited for a few seconds nothing happened. Finally she saw a button to open the door automatically. While she was in there Michele and I kept running, Cheryl took a little break and then she ran with us. I think we added on close to .75 of a mile just doing that.
Each time Kelly would use the bathroom somewhere I would think maybe that did the trick, she would always feel ok for a little while.
We were finally getting close to our 18.. I think we were at 16 but it felt like we were never going to get back to our cars, Cheryl even called out at one point that she hadn't planned on doing 20 today!
Michele and I had run ahead, not really realizing it, but we had a nice downhill and the next thing you know we are way ahead, we finally made it to Club Manor rd. not too far now. I have just over 18 and Michele was almost at 19. I said let's turn around for the girls, well when we looked back they were no where in site. We had passed a big group of walkers and I thought did they get mixed up with them, but no I can see in the distance that Cheryl is crouched down leaning again a stop sign. OH CRAP something bad has happened. My heart was racing I just knew Cheryl had twisted her ankle or something, and then we realized we didnt' see Kelly.. OH NO... what is going on. Finally as we are getting closer to Cheryl we see Kelly coming. Her stomach was really, really bad. Michele and I were walking with them and after we all turned on Club Manor Cheryl mentioned that they had been hoping we were going to come back with the car. Sooo Michele and I decide we will run and get the car for Kelly and we did and in doing so we didn't stretch and we didn't get any cookies! BUT it was worth it to help Kelly.. but turns out she didn't need us, or I guess we werent' fast enough because we get on the road where we left them and there is no sign of them, so we turn into a little strip mall thinking maybe they went to find a bathroom... luckily Cheryl was sitting outside waiting. She wasn't feeling so great herself at that moment.
Thankfully they were both ok...Kelly was able to use the facilities and felt better for a little while. We made a quick trip to sonic to her her a diet coke and then we were on our way to the River Market to meet the Cruiser's for coffee and breakfast.
It was great that Cheryl was able to get over her 16 mile hump, and I was happy to also get in over 18, and not have any bathroom issues. I just felt really bad for Kelly because I know exactly what she was going through.
We have 20 next week and then I think Cheryl will be ready for her first Marathon. Kelly, Michele and I on the other hand still have plenty of long runs in our future as we prepare for the Country Music Marathon in Nashville on April 26th.