I just ran for 5 hours, 22 minutes and 14 seconds straight! Well, the last 6 miles were a mix of run and walk and the last couple were pretty much just walk. Yet, it is funny how a number can get stuck in your brain while you twist and turn it every direction. Pretty soon, it is not even a number, but an actual object that you are reaching for. I have become intimately familiar with the number 26.3 these last few hours. In my mind, I have caressed it, loved it and held it up over my head like that monkey does in the Lion King. 26.3 and I are best friends. We spit on our hands and then shook. 26.3 laid it's head on my lap while I ran my fingers through it's hair. 26.3 and I skipped rocks on the beach together. I am really tired.
I began at 6:00 AM and much to my surprise it was perfect running weather; about 60 degrees and dry. I packed 4 water bottles and 3 Gatoraides and an extra shirt. I did however, forget to place the requisite band-aids over my nipples. No worries, I have some very chiseled nipples. Thank goodness I received those iron nipple implants. The doctor told me that it would be okay because I probably wouldn't milk anything again for the rest of my life. I am so tired.
The first 3 loops were incredible! I was making excellent time, even with my very much needed poo break at the local ward house. With the perfect weather, I felt better than I ever had at mile 10. This was going to be cake.
Three more loops and after 18 miles I felt like this goal was going to be accomplished. It had been about 2 hours and 20 minutes and during my run I had seen all the local retail stores open (Including the infamous sniagrab, which is "bargains" spelled backward.), the yearly Murray kids bike race begin and end at the park, all the scout flags be put up and the same cop pass me by about 10 times. I never knew there was so much going on at 7:00 in the morning in Murray.
The 7th loop is where things got very dicey. I had just started and the worst possible weather began to pour down on my like tiny anti-marathon missiles. What the hail was going on? Did Mother Nature hate my guts? HAIL! LOTS OF IT! AND WITH ONLY 8 MILES TO GO! Fortunately, I guess, Cathi came looking for me because of the hail and because I told her I would probably be home about 10:00. It was 10:15 and I still had 8 miles to go. Oops, guess I miscalculated on that one. (Actually, I calculated correctly, IF I had gone the same speed every loop. I failed to consider that with every loop my pace was decreasing considerably.)
I hopped in the car and we headed home. 8 miles left and I was not to be denied!
I rushed downstairs and hit the treadmill. I HATE the treadmill. The treadmill hates me. I was once running on the treadmill, increasing and decreasing the speed to my liking. The rubber mat slipped and the treadmill spit me off into the wall. I have been hesitant to run on it ever since. In this case, I did not have an option. I guess I could have ran around my front room 15,000 times, but that would have been hard to calculate milage on.
I went 5 miles on the treadmill and felt exhausted. I always seem to tire more easily on a treadmill than on the road. It could have been that I was nearing the dreaded 20 mile wall as well. Either way, I began running two minutes and walking one. I wanted to run the entire marathon, but I thought running 20 miles was pretty decent and at this point my body thought the same thing.
With three miles remaining, I hopped off and went to check on the weather. It was a steady rain, but I DEFINITELY did not want to finish this thing on the treadmill. I hate that thing worse than my Junior High nemesis, Daniel.
At this point, with three miles remaining, the back of my knees had become unbearably stiff. I knew that it was going to be a long 3 mile loop, but I girded up my loins (as the Bible says) and girded up my socks too. I braved the rain and began running down the block again.
I ran about 30 yards and then the back of my knees informed me that they would be stopping. I told my knees that I understood and then we agreed that they would be walking 30 yards and then "running" (not really running anymore, more like a jogging hickup) 30 yards. It was settled.
About half way through the last loop, where the retail shops are located, I realized people were staring at me. My white shirt was soaking wet and I looked like I had just been enimatized by a long fingernailed doctor. I glanced down at my chest to see that you could see right through my white shirt and into my lead lined nipples. They were looking at my nipples! Those nipple lookers! Doesn't anyone have any respect for a man on his last two miles of a marathon anymore? I really could have cared less at this point though. That number, 26.3 was winking at me, The Swedish bikini team could have been there, I could have been running pantless and at this point, I would not have given it a second thought. Two more miles and I would be a marathoner.
I limped up the final hill, every muscle in my body begging me to stop. The rain began to pour and I knew the end was near. I ran the final .3 miles and into the waiting arms of... no one. It was pouring and I was now an hour and a half past my scheduled arrival time. But, I really could have cared less. My mind and body were so fatigued, I really wasn't sure if I was actually home anyway. Cathi and the boys did come out on the porch and cheer for me and that is really all I wanted.
26.3 miles is no longer my friend. We got to know each other and I decided that she is too ruthless and difficult to really get along with. Plus, she wears overalls. I can't stomach being friends with anyone who wears overalls. I will stick with all the people who left comments of support for me. You are my real friends.
One final note: I would NOT use the Hillcrest Ward bathroom for the next three days or so if I were you. Running a marathon makes evil things come out of your body.