In the world of runners there are those who like to talk. Mileage braggarts, distance loggers, PRs set and reset, hardware won, toenails lost. In the world of bloggers there are those who are always talking…about anything and everything. Between the two groups you would think I, being in both worlds, would never shut up.
This is for Bea, because she asked (and because she won’t run the Jingle Jam with me if I don’t).
After the unusual knee pain and the three weeks off from the run everything went downhill. I was burnt out from the training. Burnt out from the stress/anticipation of seeing family in such a heartbreak place. Burnt out from trying to recapture the rest of my life. The run wasn’t fun because I was too preoccupied with 26.2 miles to come. By the time the marathon was (finally, finally) a reality and I was listening to Kid Rock and readjusting my bib and retying my shoes I was more than done with it. That’s a bad place for me to be. Even watching Meb
run fly past me wasn’t inspiring. Then the worst. The wind kicked up and I turned cold. Literally and metaphorically.
Standing in the corral, waiting for the countdown was a study in ignorance in that I tried to ignore the girls in tutus and eyeliner and blinking things take selfie after selfie after selfie. Blink. Blink. I tried to ignore the distorted techno music blaring over the loud speakers. I tried to ignore the ginormous Chewbacca belching and hiccuping his way through a Coors. Yes, he even crushed it on his forehead. Most of all I tried to ignore the reports of gusts of driving rain further up the course. Then this: reports of mara mile markers being blown away – to the point of concern. Over the loudspeaker someone announced a suggestion: if you are running the full and you are new to Las Vegas you should switch to the half in order to avoid getting lost. Errr…umm…what? Lost? A guy next to me shrugged and said they announced the same thing right before Kid Rock got on the stage. Huh. Guess I wasn’t paying attention.
From the very beginning I knew this was not my run. Way too congested. Never mind the women chat chat chatting away while walking five across at the first mile. Wind in my face the entire way. Rain for the first six miles. Of course it was raining. It always rains during events that mean something to me. I couldn’t stop blowing my nose the entire way. My nose was running way more than my legs. Then came The Pain at mile 20. I was reduced to a walk/ run routine by mile 23.
This will sound like a giant whine, but I’ll say it again. This wasn’t my run. True, I accomplished what I set out to do. I remembered Duane with every step (especially his voice calling me a dumb azz for doing this in the first place). In the end my hips betrayed me but it’s my heart who let me down first.
For days after I saw people wearing their tech shirts, their finisher medals and even their timing chips still attached to their shoes. All announcing their accomplishment. To look at me, you would never know I was one of them. Dressed all in black, my silence was epic.