Bill and Cathy McArthur on the Road 2010: 11

  Monday, March 15, was a mostly sunny day. Cathy went to her exercise class. Bill worked on preparing for his noon tutoring session. Cathy decided to walk instead of going to the gym, so Bill went to the Naples RV Center to buy a light bulb for the RV's outside light. He also tried to replace the faucet handles for the bathroom, but the RV Center couldn't help and suggested a hardware store. Bill went to Sunshine ACE, but they suggested Jameson's plumbing supply. Cathy went for a walk while Bill ate an early lunch and then walked to LVCC for tutoring. Bill's tutoring session went well, especially when he and Francisco started to read Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea." Bill had bought a copy of the book for Francisco at Borders and purchased a Kindle version for himself for his iPhone. Cathy passed Bill as she drove to her own tutoring session and he was walking back to the RV. Bill sunbathed for a couple of hours. When Cathy came back, we went over to our neighbors Jerry and Lou to chat for a while. We grilled burgers for dinner and watched the first segment of the HBO miniseries "The Pacific." At 8:15 PM, we went to the clubhouse to watched a slide presentation of a 1969 rafting trip down the Mississippi River by park residents Eldon and Maicel.

  Tuesday was a cloudy, breezy, cool day. Cathy went to exercise class and then for a walk. Bill ate an early lunch and went out at a bit after 11:00 AM for a fishing paddle. He wore his wetsuit, which is amazing at this time of year in South Florida. Because of the wind and the taper, Bill chose to fish, with his live shrimp, in the Gordon River. He tried under the US 41 bridge and then at the entrance to the mangrove creek to the Nature Conservancy. He was skunked! On the positive side, Bill finally saw a manatee swimming underwater about 15 feet from his kayak. He also saw the animal's nose a couple of times. While Bill was out, Cathy went with Sue and Jack to look at a couple of residential areas in Naples. Bill landed at about 4:00 PM. After cleaning gear and himself, Bill dressed warmly and got ready for an early dinner. We viewed "24" during dinner and then went over to the clubhouse to play Bunco. Bill was in a three-way tie for most Buncos with three of them. Bill actually got a fourth Bunco during a roll-off, but it didn't count toward his total. When we returned, we viewed "Lost."

  Wednesday was rainy off and on. We both had problems sleeping in the early morning and got up very early. Cathy went to her exercise class. Bill waited for a hole in the radar and then went out for an easy three mile run, his last training run before the Atlanta Marathon. Cathy did laundry while Bill went to Starbucks and Publix for some items. After lunch, we got down to packing for our Atlanta trip. We picked up Sue and Jack at 6:00 PM and drove to Bonita Springs to eat dinner at the Fish House. It was too cool and windy to eat outside, but we had a great waterside table in the porch. The food and service were excellent and the prices moderate. Bill was arm-twisted into having a piece of peanut butter pie for dessert.

  Thursday was a travel day. We awoke at 5:45 AM and got breakfast. Bill started to carbo-load and ate three bagels with jam. We were well-prepared for the trip, so we just went through our usual morning routine, including Bill's crossword puzzles. We drove to Budget for our 8 AM pickup of a silver Ford Focus. We drove back to the campground and loaded the car. Bill closed the greywater tank valve and turned off the water and we were off, heading north, at 8:30 AM. Driving went well and we averaged 75 mph while moving. We stopped at a Cracker Barrel in Ocala for lunch. Bill had two orders of pancakes with maple syrup for lunch. We arrived at our destination, Adel, GA, about 3:15 PM. Cathy noticed that there were no real restaurants in the small town, so we decided to drive 20 miles farther north to Tifton, GA. About halfway there, we noticed a rumbling noise from the car's tires. Since that stretch of I75 was under construction, we thought the pavement was causing the noise, but it didn't change when the pavement changed, so we knew it was a flat tire. The car's digital readout also indicated a tire pressure issue. However, there was a high concrete wall alongside the road, so it wasn't safe to stop. We limped to an exit and then across the overpass to a repair shop. We talked to a guy about our problem and he said that he could put the spare doughnut on, but we should contact Budget to find a place to swap cars. While the tire was getting changed, Bill talked to Budget roadside repair and found that we had to drive 40 miles perpendicular to I75 at Tifton to Albany airport to pick up a new rental. Bill gave the guy $20, although he asked for $8 to change the tire. It seemed to take a long, long time to get to Albany, but we finally swapped for a Chevy Cobalt. We decided to stay at a Hampton Inn in Albany. We checked in and then went to Carino's Italian Restaurant. Bill ate a lot of pasta and bread. We went to Publix after dinner to get cookies for Cathy and raisins and cranberries for Bill. When we got back to the room, we watched NCAA basketball for a while. Then, Bill took a shower, ate some raisins and cranberries, and then we went to bed fairly early.

  Friday morning, we awoke at 5:45 AM and got ready for the Hampton Inn breakfast. Bill had three bagels with honey for breakfast. We made good time getting back to I75 at Cordele, GA. Driving got a bit trafficky as we neared Atlanta, but we made good time. Our GPS fouled us up as the I75/I85 junction, when we were supposed to take I85 for a short connection to GA 400 North. We had to exit I75 and go south for a mile or so to rectify the error. We rolled into a Starbucks parking lot in Alpharetta at around 11 AM. We bought a cappuccino and a NY Times and sat there for a while, just relaxing. Son Bill called and then Stacey called in order to meet us at the restaurant, Never Enough Thyme. We drove over there and secured an outside table, so we could enjoy the 75 degree sunny day. Bill at a 16 ounce and a 32 ounce pasta salad for lunch. We drove to Scientific Games after lunch to pick up Son Bill's packet pickup documentation and then returned to the restaurant to meet with Son Bill. Bill and Son Bill headed into Atlanta, via Starbucks, to pick up their packets at the Georgia Dome. Cathy and Stacey went to Sarah's school nearby to watch a pep rally and to pick up Sarah for the afternoon. Bill and Son Bill drove into Atlanta, parked in a garage, picked up their marathon packet, wandered around the fitness expo a while, and then returned to the kids' school to pick up Billy. Then, Bill headed to the house while Son Bill and Billy went the the Rice restaurant to pick up sushi for Son Bill, chicken with broccoli for Cathy, and Low Mein and rice for Bill. Bill also ate a few pieces of bread for dinner. Later, Bill topped off his day of eating with raisins and cranberries. Stacey and Bill viewed "2012" after Son Bill went to bed early and Cathy took a shower. Bill also took a shower and then headed for bed.

  Saturday was another beautiful day. Son Bill and Bill took Billy to his karate lesson while the girls went out on the Big Creek Greenway and lunch at Montana Grill. The guys are lunch back at the house. We all spent some time outside in the warm air and then Bill and Son Bill headed downtown to the Hilton Hotel. When they got to their 11th floor room, they did an extensive gear check and then headed out to dinner at the Rise restaurant. Son Bill had a beautiful looking sushi meal; Bill had Lo Mein and Miso soup. The two guys walked around Centennial Park to see the start and finish areas for the next day's race. They headed back to their room and continued to make preparations. They also viewed "Sherlock Holmes" before turning in after 10 PM. Surprisingly, neither of them snored during the night.

  Sunday was finally the day that Bill and Son Bill had been preparing for since December 10 and December 9, respectively. The forecast called for light rain, light wind, and temperature in the 50s. The pair climbed out of bed at 4:45 AM and made coffee and tea, toasted bread and bagels, and hydrated. At 7:30 AM, they headed down to the lobby and right out to their Corral I starting location. Bill was wearing a wool hat and a visor, three dry fit shirts, running tights with calf sleeves beneath, and gloves. He tossed the wool hat before the race started at 7:00 AM. It took a few minutes for the 16,000 runners to get going, but Bill and Son Bill crossed the start line at 7:05 AM. It was soon apparent that neither of them had trained for the very hilly course. Son Bill had mainly trained on the treadmill and flat Greenway; Bill had trained on completely flat terrain, except for a bit of hill training in the Duke Forest in December. Bill threw off his gloves at about mile 1.5; Son Bill threw his away at the Emory Campus at mile 16. Bill's legs were suffering from the hills by mile 8, but at mile 16 he had to walk up a hill. At the top, he sent Son Bill ahead as he realized that he couldn't run up any more hills for this day. Son Bill ran even splits and finished the race in 4:20. Bill walked and ran for a few more miles. At mile 20, Bill realized that he could run no more. He popped his last 3 Gu packs and drank the last of his Cytomax. He knew that he still had his endurance and decided to power walk the rest of the way. He mounted a charge to the finish and passed several runners on his way. He ran the last 0.2 mile on dead legs and finished at 4:59. Bill and Son Bill posed for a photo and then went back to the hotel for showers. They checked out at 1:30 PM, picked up the rental car from valet parking, and headed north toward Cumming. They stopped at a Starbucks in Alpharetta on the way. When they arrived at the house, they were surprised with collages of their marathon photos put together by Stacey, Cathy, and Sarah. We all hung around for a while as it rained outside. In late afternoon, we headed south on Route 400 to the Macaroni Grill. Bill ate a pizza to try to get some protein for his wasted legs. When we returned to the house, we enjoyed pieces of a "Congratulations, Team McArthur" cake that Stacey had ordered. Bill discovered that he had come in 2nd out of 4 in his age group in the marathon. Bill and Son Bill headed to bed fairly early with very achy legs.

  Monday, March 22, started out very chilly, but warmed. Stacey took the kids to school. Bill and Cathy left at 9:00 AM and headed south. Traffic was a bit slow for a while, but we made steady progress. We stopped for lunch at a Subway around Perry, GA. We pushed on to Ocala, FL and stayed at the Sleep Inn there. Bill headed to the fitness center to walk slowly on the treadmill and ride slowly on the stationary bike. We went to Harry's Seafood Restaurant in the historic section of Ocala and enjoyed Shrimp Creole and Jambalaya (without meat). We went to bed fairly early when we got back to the hotel.

  Tuesday was a very nice day. We arose shortly after 6:00 AM and got on the road at first light. We had another smooth ride. We talked with our friend Jim Sosna as we entered Naples and until we arrived back at the campground. We unloaded the rental car and then caravanned to Budget to return it. We proceeded to Grouper and Chips for a great seafood lunch and then to Starbucks and Publix for some shopping. Cathy gave Bill the green light for signing up for the Disney World Marathon on January 9, 2011, so Bill registered with and announced it on FaceBook. We had quinoa and grilled chicken for dinner.

  Wednesday was a lovely day. We arose at 6:00 AM. Cathy went to her exercise class and to the gym. Bill went out at 8:00 AM for a 4.5 hour kayak paddle to the Rookery Bay entrance and back. We ate lunch outside in the warm sunshine. Bill did some research on condos near Sandpiper Road across Route 41. We walked down to the that area and checked out the neighborhood. Bill's legs felt better, but not fully recovered. Later in the afternoon, Bill drove to Starbucks and Publix for a few items. We got ready and picked up Sue and Jack at 5:45 PM. We had dinner at California Pizza at the Waterside Shops of North Naples. After dinner, we walked to the Philharmonic for a Pops concert. We mostly enjoyed the music and especially liked the young tenor that performed. We arrived back at the RV well after 10:30 PM and headed for bed soon thereafter.

  Thursday was another beautiful day. Cathy went to her exercise class and then to the gym. Bill prepared for his noon tutoring session. Afterward, he caught up on his journal. He had a banana, an apple, and yogurt for lunch and then walked to LVCC. His tutoring session with Francisco went well. As Bill was walking back, Cathy passed in the XTerra on Airport Road on her way to her tutoring session. Bill dressed in his running clothes. The temperature was about 80 degrees when Bill headed out for an easy 5K bike ride and an easier 2 mile run. His legs were still a tad sore, but he took it very easy and enjoyed being out. When Bill got back, he put together a memorial to his first marathon by combining a professional photo of his finish with a quotation that he had just read the night before in the book he was reading on his iPhone. We had leftover quiche for dinner. We tried to watch our DVRed copy of "Lost", but it was all messed up. Bill called Comcast and went through a system reset, but the copy was still unusable. Bill kicked off an iTunes download before we went over to Fran and Dennie's for a sing-a-long. There was no bonfire due to a brisk wind. The evening was very warm. When we got back, we closed up the RV and put on the fan in anticipation of heavy overnight rain.

  Friday was a day of threatening rain. Cathy went to her exercise class. Bill worked on new wallpaper for his laptop. We met Jack and Sue and Dick and Jill Schofield for lunch at Dock's restaurant. Later in the afternoon, we went across the street to Ward and Linda's site for a neighborhood fish fry. We stayed until around 10:00 PM and then headed back to our RV.

  Saturday was a beautiful day. Bill went out around 8:30 AM for a 4.5 hour kayak paddle. Afterward, we ate lunch outdoors. We walked downtown by an art show on 5th Avenue South to the beach. We napped for an hour before walking back via Starbucks. Bill's legs were feeling pretty good. We didn't get back until around 7:00 PM and then enjoyed a pasta dinner.

  Sunday started out warm and humid. Bill got ready and went out for a medley workout: 10K bike, 5K run, 10K bike, 5K run, 10K bike. The bike legs were normal and the running legs were at an easy pace of around 9:45 minutes/mile. Bill felt good during the workout. Afterward, we went to the laundry room with Marty Gross and taught her some techniques for dealing with her email. We ate lunch outside and then picked up Jack and Sue to go to Corkscrew Swamp to see a blooming Ghost Orchid that reportedly could be seen from the boardwalk. We had a good time walking the boardwalk and saw some interesting wildlife. The highlight was seeing the Ghost Orchid flower through a birder's scope. We dropped Jack and Sue back at their condo at around 5:00 PM and then stopped by Starbucks on our way back to the RV. Bill grabbed a quick shower and we got dressed for dinner. We picked up Jack and Sue and drove to USS Nemo for dining al fresco. We enjoyed great meals on a balmy evening. We said our goodbyes to Jack and Sue and headed back to the RV as the rain started. We ran the A/C overnight.

        Bill and Cathy