Apparently 3,000 words weren’t enough to share my marathon experience. Here are a few stories that didn’t make the cut, bullet style:
- I know I occasionally give spectators a tough time. It’s hardly fair…after all, they should definitely get credit for showing up to watch an event that amounts to a constant stream of sweaty, oblivious people passing by at varying rates of speed. After an hour or so of that, it’s understandable that the well of creative things to yell encouragingly at complete strangers might run dry. However, allow me to humbly suggest that in this situation it is wiser to stick with the always safe “good job” or “good pace” or “way to go” over the potentially irritating “Smile! You’re almost done!” or “Only __ miles to go!” For one, most of the people who informed me of how far I had to go were WRONG. Miles wrong. And whether it’s seven blocks or seven miles, there’s a good chance that the marathonner wouldn’t modify the remaining distance with the word “only.” At the end of a marathon, seven blocks is an eternity. Oh, and smile lady? You’d have much more luck getting people to smile on cue at Mile 26…instead of Mile 24 1/2. I heard her encourage me to smile and ignored it, Scott heard her turn to the person next to her afterwards and say, “I don’t get it! They’re almost done! Shouldn’t they be happy?” Ah…”almost.” First cousin to “only” and another word that I feel should be stricken from conversations involving marathons. I first started hearing that I was “almost” done at Mile 14. FOURTEEN!
- At the other extreme, there were some really awesome spectators at this race. I already mentioned the military men and women lined up in Camp Pendleton handing out free high fives. Awesome. Another favorite was a fella sitting in a lawn chair around Mile 14. He was chatting with passing runners over a megaphone. Not even cheering, in the traditional sense, just inserting a little bit of random into our day. When I passed him, there was a guy just ahead of me wearing a blue kilt. I heard megaphone guy say, “Hey, Johnny (or whatever his name was…if you signed up before a certain date, they printed your name on your bib number). Nice kilt. Is that a field hockey skirt? Ok, then. Have a great day!” I can’t say for sure, but I want to think this was a “The Office” reference. (Andy wore a field hockey skirt as a kilt in their St. Patrick’s Day episode.) Either way, I found it hilarious. There were also a couple of girls stationed at a water station wearing super hero costumes. When I passed them after “the incident” they said, “oh, my. I didn’t know there were super models in this race. You look terrific.” That’s sweet, ladies.
- I miss the MAGIC ROOM. Sad.
- As part of my multi-faceted motivational plan, I bought a shamrock necklace from Etsy.com a couple of weeks before the race. It came with a shamrock charm and an extra bead. I wore the necklace with just the shamrock leading up to and during the race. The idea was that if the going got tough and I started to think about quitting I would have something tangible to remind me of my goal. Then, when I finished I could add the other charm to the necklace. (Which was the first thing I did after finishing…before hydrating, before showering, and even though I felt horrible at the time!) It’s subtle enough that I can wear it anytime (as opposed to, say, the finisher’s medal itself) but will always remind me of my accomplishment. I love, love, love the necklace, so I wanted to share the story and give Novella from Etsy a shout out. She has a lot of sweet jewelry, including some great steampunk pendants that I’m sure fellow geeks will love (while everyone else wonders what in the heck “steampunk” even is…).
- On the way home from Virginia Beach, there was a really bad wreck on Hwy 58. We happened to be stalled at a good place to make a u-turn, so after a brief consultation we opted to take a detour around it. The detour chosen by ME’s GPS involved an unlined, narrow, and often unmarked road-of-many-names. Which wouldn’t have been a problem, except that 20 minutes into the detour the GPS suddenly gave up on life. Seriously. We think that maybe it overheated (is that possible?) or something, but at about the worst possible moment the screen went black and refused to turn back on. ME frantically attempted GPS CPR (holy smokes, batman, that’s a lot of acronyms!), I applied my terrible navigational skills to the futile task of locating Little Texas, VA in the atlas, and Scott said, “don’t worry. I think I’ve got this,” and proceeded to take us back to the Interstate sans assistance. Whew. A few minutes later, the GPS decided that life was worth living, after all.
- Rehydration after a marathon is a long and slow process, but has (finally) been achieved.
- That is all…for now. 🙂