Viva Las Vegas- 6th Marathon Continent

I cannot believe I am planning my next marathon when I still shudder thinking about my last one (Rio)!
However, I can see the end getting nearer so I feel the quicker I get them done, the sooner I can say never again...yeah, yeah I know I’ve already said that...more than once in fact.

My sixth continental marathon (being North America) was always going to be the Honolulu marathon; I had that planned about two marathons ago. My reasoning being, it’s not so far to go, flights are cheap, I hear it is a good one (although now I don’t think there is such a thing) and I always thought it would be nice to visit Hawaii. Great reasons, just lock it in for December 2009.

As you have probably discovered by my writings though, nothing is ever really that cut and dried with me.

Whilst in Europe in January psyching myself up for my English marathon, I had a lovely few weeks in the French Alps learning to ski. We had a great chalet and many of David’s English friends and family came to visit and ski.

At one of our large, rowdy dinners that were always full of hungry skiers, I struck up a conversation with Geoff, David’s cousin. He was very interested in my quest and asked where I planned to run the rest of my marathons. When I mentioned Honolulu he said ‘Oh well that wont count’, ‘ Whoa, what’s that supposed to mean?’ I asked, he then informed me that Hawaii is not on the continent of North America, ‘Oh yes it is’ everyone howled him down, ‘Oh no it’s not’ he said, its not on the continental shelf so if you run the marathon in Hawaii you cannot include that as your North American marathon.

I was shell shocked ‘What would he know' I thought to myself, 'these bloody Englishmen’. Later David informed me that his cousin has a Doctorate in Geography and lectures at an English university,  well maybe he does know something about the continents then!

It didn't stop me from trying to change his mind though. I tried everything to get him to give me permission to count it in. I really liked Geoff, he is a great guy, but  he would not relinquish and quite firmly told me that I cannot claim it in my quest. In the end I was begging I even pulled out the ‘Jetstar one dollar deals to Hawaii from Australia’ card, but he was having none of it.

Everyone else said don’t worry about it, no one else will know, it will still count , but I thought ‘I WILL KNOW’ and really that’s all that matters. It would chip away at me and in the end I would not be happy if it didn’t count.

So back to finding another marathon, this time on the bloody shelf, not stuck out it the middle of an ocean…

I thought where could I go in North America that was true American, big, loud, brash, flashy...and then it popped up at me from Google, the Las Vegas Rock and Roll Marathon and in December, I’m in.

I’m quite excited because apparently I get to meet Elvis! I hope it’s the white one and not the black one. Oh now don’t get me wrong I’m not being racist. I always felt there were two Elvis’; the young handsome one, who wore all black and crooned away to the ladies in his early movie days, he was the coolest guy; but I loved the white Elvis.

The white Elvis is the chubby, fifty something wearing  white lycra, with all the sequins, the hairy chest, the side burns, the flares, the gold jewellery, the big gemstone rings, and the high collared cape...oh please don’t get me started on the cape.

Now I know the real Elvis aficionados poo poo the white Elvis, they feel that was when he started his slippery slide into the gutter, but they are wrong,  any man that is prepared to squish everything he has into white lycra,  and wears a cape has to be the King..the king of something surely. So my goal is to meet white Elvis, oh and to run the stupid marathon of course.

However, another Murphy moment happened on Friday. During the week I registered and paid for the Las Vegas marathon, the flights were booked,  paid to stay at a Casino (when in Rome!), booked the hire car (yes we are going to attempt a road trip across the desert, from LA to Las Vegas, with David driving, so expect some Benny hill action) and thought, as you do...maybe I should start training.

I ran a half marathon three weeks ago, was very happy with my time and run,I pulled up really well. I thought I should try an easy twenty on Friday morning, 5 km into the run something started to niggle in my left knee, 6km in something started to pain in my left knee, 7km something started to throb in my left knee...get the drift. I ran the 20km but oh boy, not a happy little left knee. Oh please don’t tell me now after over 20 years of running, 8 marathons, with only two to go that I will get the dreaded  knee injury that other runners talk about!

So there I am at 7am in panic mode at the computer, a pack of frozen peas on my knee and I’m typing a frantic email to Leanne from Fitness Footwear, ‘please be working today, I need new shoes’.

The first thought I have when I start feeling things from the knee down, is how old are the shoes and many miles have they done. Over the past couple of years I have done many miles, so the shoes need to be turned over quicker. So that’s the first stage of treatment for my knee .

Leanne fitted me with a beautiful new pair of Brookes, it’s ironic as they are the only brand of running shoe I have never worn, maybe that’s a sign to give up running when you have been through every shoe in the running store!

A light jog on Saturday with the group, shoes great, knee still not happy. I get home and get out  the peas again, as teenager walks past muttering ‘If I see peas on my dinner plate tonight, I'm leaving’ , 'oohh peas it is then' I thought!

Ok , stage two of knee treatment, off to the health food shop, back on the magnesium and glucosamine. I stopped all my supplements after Rio, but it looks like I can’t run a marathon without them..yes I’m addicted.

I’ve just read back over everything I’ve written and I’m thinking ….as you probably are as well…here we go, three months of incessant whinging and moaning…ahhhh marathons…don’t you just love ‘em





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