Sunday, September 25, 2011

Eighteen miles

What brutality!  Today was the official marathon "Tune Up" race, 18 miles through Central Park, three scathingly repetitive six-mile loops.  Because I expected it to be cold and rainy, I wore long pants and a long-sleeve shirt (my official 2007 marathon shirt, as a matter of fact - I wanted some of its mojo today).  As soon as I arrived at the race I realized I must have made a grave miscalculation.  Everyone else was wearing standard warm-weather running gear, and there I was, wearing basically an athletic burqa.  At some point during the race, around mile 6, a woman ran alongside me and said, "You're really overdressed compared to everyone here, huh?"  Who says that?  "I feel great," I said huffily, "Have a great run."  I pulled away and was happily convinced that I had left her in my dust, until I saw her trotting along ahead of me a few minutes later.  Oh well.

Unfortunately, that turned out to be a high point of the race.  It was hot and humid and I was drenched in sweat.  I tried to stay well-hydrated with gatorade and water and allowed myself generous walking breaks.  I even tried one of those disgusting goo packets, full of carbs and electrolytes in a liquid with the consistency of motor oil.  After the race ended, as my leg muscles blazed and the sweat continued pouring, I jumped in a cab to head home - L had to go to a work function on Staten Island and I needed to return to watch Alice as quickly as possible. 

"You look a little piqued,"  L told me.  I felt horrible.  I couldn't stray far from the bathroom.  After L departed it was just me and LB (Alice), which meant that during my long sojourns to the bathroom, I had to leave the door open to keep an eye on the baby.  So during the same period of time when it felt like I was losing all of the fluids (and several of the major organs) in my body, thus rendering me basically incapacitated, Alice was sitting there merrily unrolling toilet paper or playing with feminine hygiene projects.  The low point arrived when I had to inform L by text that I had just thrown up into a trash can while sitting on the toilet, and that Alice had watched the whole thing.  She stared at me with a disconcerting mixture of innocent curiosity and prurient interest. 

At this late point in the day I have finally managed to keep some food down, and my skin is no longer the color of paper.   Was this an obstacle on my marathon journey?  Yes, yes it was.  Over the coming days I will try to figure out how and why my body betrayed me so.  But am I giving up on my marathon dreams of 2011?  No, sir, I am not.  I'm busted, but not broken.

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