My mind is a dangerous place. Make sure you wear a cup.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

It is done

We finished. And a little quicker than we had thought we would. And we made a friend along the way.

But Jesus Christ, me no feel so good.

We kicked off at 7:30 AM; Carolyn, Christine, Lindsay, JD, and me.

Mile One: We picked up our new friend Larry. Larry is a homeless guy, apparently. And he attached himself to our little group. Specifically to JD, who began to move ahead of the rest of us to get away from him.

Mile Two: It becomes apparent that we are going to finish very close to last. We're keeping up a pretty good pace, but just about everyone else seems to be faster. Larry is quite verbose, and can rattle off some impressive dates and facts about all sorts of things. However, he does not smell all that fresh. We're not too concerned. We're sure he can't make the whole 13.3 miles. One of his sneakers is untied. We point it out, but he says it helps him.

Mile Three: JD gives up any pretense of being with the team, and gets far ahead of us. This is a risky move, since Carolyn is his boss and he needs my office for a whole bunch of things. But he is obsessed with not being last. Which it now seems we will be. A glance back shows no one behind us. There were some, but they must have dropped out.

Mile Four: I start to realize this is going to be a long morning. JD is gone, but Larry is still with us. He's very excited about the promise of food at the end of this thing. I've told him that the water stations will have pancakes, but of course I am lying to him. At the least the weather is perfect. It's overcast and probably in the high 50's with periodic misting. Carolyn and I like it, but Christine and Lindsay think it's too cold.

Mile Five: Too many hills for my taste. My fingers are swelling up like sausage casings. None of us have trained for this. And it is starting to look like that wasn't a very good idea. We were perhaps a bit too cavalier about the whole enterprise. You can't just flick a switch and go from couch potato to long distance walker in the blink of an eye.

Mile Six: Jesue, not even halfway yet. There seem to be two sets of markers. There are big blue flags that announce the next mile, but the official marker is another quarter mile or so down the road. It is very confusing. There are support vehicles and police directly behind us, because it is obvious that there is not going to be anyone after us. Larry is still with us.

Mile Seven: We are now at the point where when volunteers along the route shout their encouragement or passing cars honk their horns we mutter under our breath such pleasantries as shut up, bite me, die, please don't cheer. I point out to Larry for the upteenth time that his shoelace is untied. He treats each new observation as if it was the first. We share many laughs at his expense. I feel bad about it. Well, no I don't. We have to make our fun where we can.

Mile Eight: I'm not sure, but I think I can taste my spleen. Now we begin to complain about our aches and pains. Legs, hips, calves, shoulders, ankles. Larry is the only one who does not complain. Everytime we hit a water tent he stops and gets about 5 cups of Gatorade. We continue on ahead of him, hoping against hope that he will drop out for good, but damn it if he doesn't trot back up to catch up every single fucking time. For what is probably the flattest state in the union, there sure are a lot of damn hills on this course.

Mile Nine: Carolyn's husband, Rick, joins us. He's already run and finished the half, but he comes back and walks with us for support. He is annoyingly upbeat. We are all starting to get that thousand yard stare. And most of us have to pee but we're afraid to stop for fear we won't be able to get going again. It becomes obvious to me that I am not over that cold I was trying to fight off, and I think I am going to pay for that down the line. Larry asks for what seems the hundreth time if there will be food at the end.

Mile Ten: As we begin to hit the UF campus we lose the support people behind us. In fact, we're out here all alone, and if Rick isn't with us, we might have gotten off track. The area here is not very clearly marked. Having already been through it once, he keeps us on the straight and narrow. The aches and pains are adding up and becoming more clearly defined. At every turn of the course I expect to see a white light beckoning me.

Mile Eleven: I start to see dead relatives. There's Grammy. And Grandpa. And my brother Chris, who, while not technically dead, works for Microsoft. So he is a souless entitity. Lindsay has rocks in her shoes but won't stop. It occurs to me that most people marching like we are usually have guns at their backs. I get in a shouting match with a mouthy cop along the route, but I stop myself before I get into any trouble. I neglect to get his badge number, which ticks me off.

Mile Twelve: We finally stop for a bathroom break. Port-O-Lets are delightful, aren't they? I've brought some Aleve, and pass it around. Even though we are getting close to the end, I find myself dreaming of the grave and praying for the sweet release of death. I'm pretty sure at least one of my lungs has collapsed, and I dropped a kidney somewhere around the football stadium. I bet that's gonna be a problem down the line.

Mile Thirteen: As we close in on the finish line, you would think we would be happy. But the complaints about our physical ailments are louder, and we are now cursing freely. Rick keeps trying to motivate us and Carolyn keeps telling him to shut up. Rick has been good with Larry (who is still with us!) and has been keeping him busy. We just want it to end.

We hit the finish line at about 4:05:37, which is about 25 minutes better than we thought we would do. And even though we are the last half marathon walkers (there are still full marathon runners coming in) at least we entered and at least we finished. And we got cool medals. Larry spies the pizza tent and forgets all about us.

It isn't long before we catch a ride over to our cars and then drive to Texas Roadhouse, where we eat ourselves stupid and compare how badly we feel. By the time we finish, after having sat down for an hour, we can barely shuffle out of the restaurant. I get a glimpse of what Christine will look like in fifty years, a little old lady hobbling along creakily.

Once I get home and take off my shoes, it becomes evident I've got a problem. My left sock is all bloody. I've got bruising under several toes, including both big toes, and bleeding blisters on other toes, and a HUGE blister on the underside of my left foot. It's too early to tell how many toenails I'm going to lose, but I will certainly lose some. Charming.

A hot shower and a quick nap do little to make me feel better. I have taken tomorrow off, and that is starting to look like a very good move.


Blogger Marie said...

Oh my! Kudos to you for finishing the 1/2 marathon. I'm sorry but the way you described each mile had me giggling. Sorry to giggle at the descriptions of your pain. ;) And believe me, I know the pain of blood blisters and losing toe nails after a marathon. I hope you recover soon! Again, congrats on crossing the finish line! :)

6:04 PM  
Blogger Trinette said...

Great post; very funny. I admire your stamina and determination. I couldn't have done it. Hurray for Mr. Fab!

(Word verify is thlog. That's probaby the sound your footsteps were making at the end of the marathon. Either that or it's a thong made especially for bloggers.)

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Eric T. said...

I'm pround of you for finishing Brad! And yes, I almost fell out of my chair laughing reading this post. No offense but other people's misery is definitly entertaining. HA HA HA
The toenails will come back, you just don't think they will right now (along with the feeling on your right side).
Seriously though, great job at finishing the half marathon! Remember lots of ice, Advil, and rest tomorrow.

7:36 PM  
Blogger Big Pissy said...

OH. MY. GOD.!!!!!

I haven't laughed that hard in a loooonnnngggg time!!!!!

That was absolutely priceless!!!

City Penguin was here with me reading along~we were laughing so hard we were crying!

Thanks for sharing.

Sorry about the blisters, etc. :(

8:18 PM  
Blogger The Wrath of Dawn said...

I thought your post was quite funny and then I read "Mile Eleven: I start to see dead relatives." at which point I burst out laughing like a loon.

But thirteen miles without training first? I don't know whether to congratulate you or smack you upside the head. Both, I guess. "Good job!" *smack*

Listen to Eric, ice, Advil, rest and also Epsom salts in the hottest bath water you can stand.

You done good.

vw - jgfslth - What you probably started saying around mile eight.

9:12 PM  
Blogger June Cleaver's Revenge said...

Good for you for doing the marathon!

And oh, spleen with a pizza chaser? Sounds splendid.

I just have to comment on my word verification letters: eldwfark . I am not making that up. I recently emptied my spam email box over at my hotmail account, and I think it was full of porno ads for eldwfark.

10:30 PM  
Blogger Celena said...

GOOD JOB! How impressive!

2:26 AM  
Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

Good Lord...and running is supposed to be good for you???

Seriously though...hope your foot gets better.....that sounds PAINFUL!

And congrats on the marathon...good for you! :)

7:54 AM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

Marie--Giggle all you want. Pain is funny!

Trinette--Ooh-I like the idea of wearing a thong next time. I had threatened to weat a speedo and cowboy boots this time, but didn't go through with it.

Eric--They may come back, but I don't forsee wearing sandals anytime soon!

Pissy--They will heal. In the meantime, people will pity me. I like pity. It is very under-rated.

Dawn--But the training wouldn't have prevented the blisters, would it? You are not suggesting I walk 13 miles to prepare for walking 13 miles are you? Yikes!

June--Eldwfark porn is HOT! Please forward me those ads! :)

Celena and Stacy--Thanks! It's all for charity, so what the hell!

10:40 AM  
Blogger Billy said...

Wonderful narrative Mr. Fab, felt like I was right there with you. Well, except for the blisters, bloody sock and sheer exhaustion part, but YEAH for you!

3:53 PM  
Blogger The Wrath of Dawn said...

Training would have prevented some of the pain, yes. But I think you only train by doing half the distance. You'd have to check with people who actually do this kind of thing. I'm crazy, but not crazy enough to walk 13 miles.

I'd start seeing dead relatives around mile 5, methinks.


8:14 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

I also laughed a great deal at your a good way. awesome entry and congrats on finishing that bad boy!

11:01 AM  
Blogger Ivy the Goober said...

That is a great looking medal! So next year you'll do the whole marathon, right? You cracked me up on the "white light" joke. Or was that not a joke? ;)

9:49 PM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

Billy--C'mon up and join us next year!

Dawn--I guess there are no marathons in Canada, eh? You can't go more than a couple miles in any direction without being accosted by a badger...

Matt--Then it was all worth it!

Ivy--I'm pretty sure it was true at some point...

4:44 AM  

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