When I was a kid I had a paper route. I took the route over from my best friend, John Varner, when he and his family moved to Washington state after the fifth grade. I delivered maybe 50 papers every day after school and on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. The Sunday edition had to be delivered before 8:00 or Mrs. Carmen was sure to call my parents and complain. I carried the papers in a canvas tote that I wrapped around my handle bars. My route took me past a do-it-yourself car wash. The car wash had a soda machine. Soda was a rarity at home, so with my route money I would stop nearly everyday and buy myself a nice cold can of Fanta Orange or Grape. Then I'd take a little detour off the route to the local A&P Grocer and buy myself a Hostess Apple Pie. Back then there was quite a variety of flavors, but I always got my Apple. I think between the "pop" and the pie it was around $1.00. I had that paper route from 6th grade through 11th grade. That's a lot of Fanta and Apple pies.
I'm prone to headaches when I get dehydrated. Probably many of us are. I got these "dry brain" headaches long before I ever became a runner. I just knew if I hadn't had enough water, I would suffer later. Now that I'm a runner and I tend not to drink enough on long runs, I often spend the rest of the day with a head ache. A month ago after a 20 mile run, I had craving for a Diet Pepsi. I ended up drinking two big glasses and it seemed to fend off the head ache. So every long run since then, I've been rehydrating with a least one super size diet cola. As a family we gave up diet cola's a couple of years ago so I don't quite know where the craving came from, but it seemed to work and I'm stickin' to it.
Today was the last long run before the marathon. The Cruisers had planned to run in Huntington Beach and I was able to join them. The first mile was leisurely as a group. I was running with Kenny. Once we got to the bike trail the group made a stop at the facilities. As we got going again, I fell in with the group at a comfortable pace. I realized that Kenny had broken away and was up ahead. I decided to catch up to him. It took me nearly a mile to catch him and I continued on with him at his pace. I realized that I was probably going too fast for the last long run before the race. Kenny's garmin indicated 8:30 miles. We kept that pace up to the 6 mile mark and then I insisted on slowing down for the return trip and gave Kenny permission to take off. He stuck along with me.
It was a warm, humid day at the beach. There seemed to be more folks out running than usual. The local Snails Pace running store had a group out, Team in Training was out in full force and a huge contingent of high school cross country kids were out as well. Since the run was "only" a 12 miler and because there are ample water fountains along the route, I hadn't carried any water. But we only stopped for water 2 or 3 times. Post run I could feel the effects with the tell tale pains developing up my neck.
On the way home I stopped at the first 7-Eleven and got myself a Big Gulp of Diet Pepsi. On my way to the check stand I spied the Hostess Apple Pies. I hadn't had one in a long time. The soda and pie came to $2.88. I had $3.00 in my wallet. I was a happy, nostalgic, man.
Tonight the Cruisers are having a BBQ and planning party for our destination race of 2010. Eighteen races have been submitted for consideration. I threw Twin Cities (MN), Oklahoma City Memorial or Duke City (NM) into the hat. It will be interesting to see what we come up with.