I write about my life and life itself seen through my eyes for who can write through the experiences of others if not their own?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tales From a Marathon Not Run

I had signed up for a “repeat” marathon with the only purpose to train and run with my friends. We had plans of what it would be the night before, the day of, the hours after.
It was everything we envisioned…I just wasn’t part of most of it because of an injury that prevented me from training with them and ultimately running the marathon.
I still went to see them on different sections of the course.  At a nice spot on mile 14 I enjoyed the surprised look in their faces when they saw me.  I promised to see them later. Most of them delirious already didn’t remember, or care.

The best and most difficult part of a marathon is the last 6 miles of the course. That part when the body has left and the spirit is trying to hang on.  I met them at that point. The ones who I sort of could keep up with. 

Mile 20. An Advil for pain, a piece of gum, Gatorade anyone? A conversation no one wanted to have, but I offered it anyway.  Some salt tablets for a stranger runner cramping at mile 24.  Some wise cracks for the guy offering beer, greeting to the volunteers.
The last couple of miles seemed slower than they would be if I were running the race because the effort in my friends face and the sound of their labor breathing let me know they were digging beyond their physical stamina.  With only a fraction of what they were doing I was feeling fresh, they were fading. Finally the end of the race, that promised finish line and it was over.
All in all it was a wonderful experience. I got all that I signed up for, the run and the laughs, the cheers, the photos, the celebration after. It was not a marathon I ran; it was a moment to be around people whose company I enjoy in a sport I love.