Putting the "MO" in MOFO since 2004

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005


I never learn

It’s that time of year again. It’s time for the most beautiful urban marathon in America, The Twin Cities Marathon. I have run 6 of the last 9 of them. Every year I decide not to run it, I get very wistful as the day approaches, and I wish I had decided to sign up and train.

The Twin Cities Marathon is a rite of fall. It is a tour of the Twin Cities that takes you through the autumn landscapes of the chain of lakes in Minneapolis and the Misssissippi river valley. It starts at the metrodome in downtown Minneapolis, winds through tree lined neighborhoods and charming business districts, follows the path of the Mississippi river valley, and ends at the state capitol in St. Paul. All in this idyllic fairy land of crisp blue sky and yellow, orange and green leaves. The course is breathtaking. The people of Minnesota come out in droves to cheer the runners on.

Having had just given birth to the smooth Madgerator last year, I refrained from training for obvious reasons. I mean, I would have collapsed and / or peed myself to death 3 miles into it. Then my female parts would have fallen out. This year I decided that finding time to train would be too stressful. Now of course, I am kicking myself. I am jealous. I want to run it. I just don't want to train for it.

Instead of running the marathon this year, I will ruminate on my past glory. Here is a breakdown of the emotions and inner dialogue leading up to, and following the completion of the Twin Cities marathon.

During training: Why the Hell did I sign up for this again? I am so sick of running I could scream. Running stinks. I am an idiot. I hate running. HATE IT.

As the date approaches: I am not ready. Fuck. I am not ready. There is no way I am going to be able to finish this thing. What was I thinking? Why didn’t I plan better? I am not prepared! The world is against me! Everyone and everything has conspired to prevent me from training! SHIT! I need to learn to say NO!!!

The night before: I have several nightmares about not being able to find the starting line. I am late getting to the race. I dream that I get lost and take a wrong turn, and I forgot my shoes, and there is no time to go back and get them. I forgot my runners number.

The morning of: Get out of bed. Nervous. This is going to be a long-ass morning.

8:00 race day: Line up with my projected time. I am an optimist. I go to the place marked “4 Hours” knowing I have never finished a marathon in less than 4 and a half, and more likely, it will take me 5. I am an eternal optimist. This is why I usually arrive places 5 – 10 minutes late. I nervously stretch and try to pretend I am a good stretcher. I never stretch.

Start of race: OOOO-kay. Here we go. Very exciting! Look at all the people! Pace yourself! Whoohoo!

Mile 5: Pacing myself. All is well. Feeling groovy.

Mile 7: Hi Jim! Hi Mom! Hi Dad! Hi Molly, Betsy and Julie! Hi demigoddesses! My family rocks. They come out to see me every year. I love everyone.

Mile 10: Where is the halfway mark? I will be so glad when I know I have half of this bitch under my belt. Shit. My left butt cheek is killing me. I can’t feel my little toe. Should I be worried?

Mile 13.1: Halfway there! Yay! I am doing pretty well. I think I can finish this in record time. My ass is killing me though. Ouch. I still love everyone, but some of you get on my nerves a little, I have to admit.

Mile 16: Less than 10 miles left. Really want to stop running. But the finish line is calling. If I did not have thousands of witnesses, I would not be running. The cheering crowd does help though. You are all so nice to come out and cheer for us. I am not leaving without my T-Shirt and medal. I want my t-shirt and medal!

Mile 18: In the rhythm of my steps: Just keep running. Just keep running. Motherfuck, Motherfuck, just keep running. Repeat this little jingle over and over and over for the next 3 miles.

Mile 18.5: Where is that goddamned mile marker? This is the longest mile in the history of running. There is no way I have not gone a whole mile yet. I must have missed the 19 mile marker. Where is my family? What if I die here? Who will be my role model, now that my role model is gone, gone, he ducked back down the alley with some roly poly little batface girl. Is that Rob Lowe up ahead in the crowd? Oh. No. It’s an adolescent girl. I am now hallucinating. Nice.

Mile 19: You are fucking kidding me. I am only at mile 19? This is some cruel joke. Okay, don’t freak out. Just keep running. I am going to finish this bitch if it fucking kills me. Motherfucker. Motherfucker.

Mile 20: Okay. Just twice around Lake Harriet and I am done. This is one morning of my life. One morning. I will crawl to the end if I have to. And then I will get McDonalds and sit on the couch for the rest of the day. I will not move from the couch. I will become one with the couch. This is one morning of my life. I can do this. Oh my God I hurt everywhere. The only things that don’t hurt right now are my hands. And my eyeballs. My hands and my eyeballs feel great. I'll just focus on my hands and my eyeballs. Oh dear God this hurts.

Mile 22: Lalalalalalala… shitshitshitshitshit this hurts. Where is my family? Where are they? Keep running. Mommy! I hurt! Oh! There is the lady giving away cookies! Thank you nice lady! You are the kindest, most nicest lady of all the ladies in the universe. Your generosity, coupled with my delirium, make me very sappy. Sniffle.

Mile 23: Did I just pass the 21 mile marker or the 25th? What is 26 minus 4? Damn! What is 26 minus 4? Fuck it! Who cares. Just keep running. Uhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Mile 24: Who the Hell designed this course? A masochist? The fucking thing is flat as a pancake until the very end! The last three miles (or is it 7? I can’t add or subtract… too tired) are up hill. People cheering me on remind me I am almost done. I am not almost done assholes! 2.2 miles is not almost done! I could be dead before I finish the next 2.2 miles. 2.2 miles is going to give me a nervous breakdown! You people. You fucking people. I hate this.

Mile 25: Bitch, do not even tell me that was the last hill because I know it’s not, you fucking idiot. Do you know what that does to a person who is this tired? It makes them want to bitch slap you. I know you mean well but you are a stupid stupid human being. Oh look. Bananas. Wait. Too tired to cross the road. Screw it. I will be lucky to finish this in less than 5 hours. At this point I no longer care. I want to stop! Can I stop? Maybe I will just walk until the next mile marker. Why does it hurt more to walk than to run? Why did I do this again? Oh yeah. I am an idiot. What’s 26 minus 25? I am going to fucking DIE. I WANT TO DIE.

Mile 26: IS THIS IT? THE LAST HILL? The state capitol! There it is! I can roll down the hill to the finish line if I want! I get to stop running soon! I get to stop running! Must. Get. To. Capitol. Then I can stop running.

Finish line: I want to cry tears of joy but I can’t because I can’t spare the energy! I get to stop running! I get to stop running! I am never running again! Ever! I think I have to vomit! I stink! I am dizzy and confused! Where do I go? What do I do? What is my name again? I guess my time doesn’t really matter. I finished it! Or did I? Oh yeah. I’m done. Somebody take me home. But take me to McDonalds first. Definitely take me to McDonalds first.

Post marathon shower: OW! OWOWOWOW! The tag in my shorts wore a HOLE in my back! OW! The edges of my jogbra rubbed my skin raw! I have a giant scab necklace! The water. It stings! I have butt-crack chafing. BUTT CRACK CHAFING, PEOPLE! Whatever you do, DO NOT touch my feet. They may crumble upon contact. That or I will scream in pain. Mmmmm. I love McDonalds. Should have definitely super sized it. Coke never tasted so good. Mmmmmmm....

Next 48 hours: Can’t climb stairs. I am fine as long as I don't move.

72 hours post marathon: I am so signing up next year. I am signing up and I am going to train better and I am going to finish in 4 hours. I am so signing up next year.


Blogger mothergoosemouse said...

That was awesome. I have never run a marathon, nor do I think I ever will, so it was great to live vicariously through you.

Last week, we met a neighbor who runs 100 mile marathons (forget what they are really called) up in the mountains. He told us that he also runs regular marathons without training. I can't even imagine.

2:02 PM  
Blogger Just Dawn said...

I could only run if being CHASED!!
Good for you!!

4:36 PM  
Blogger Mary Tsao said...

I wish I could remember exactly what she said, but I remember Oprah telling someone on her show that she will never run another marathon. She did it and she doesn't need to do it again.

You are not like her.

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Kari said...

Inspiring. And yet proof that I shouldn't attempt it. ;-)

9:13 PM  
Blogger miss jackie said...

Scale that down to a 5K and those are my thoughts exactly!

You are so much braver than I can ever be ... I haven't quite worked up the nerve to do a marathon. What first prompted you to do it?

9:35 PM  
Blogger Meghan said...

I had not even run a 5K or 10K. My first race was a marathon. I was scared I couldn't do it, so I did it (after training of course), and then I just kept on signing up.

5:15 AM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

THIS...THIS is why you are queen of the MoFo's! You're crazy. Absolutely out of your mind to do that more than once. But whoa, I am totally proud of you. No way in hell I could do that. Ever.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Crystal said...

Brilliant post! You sum up exactly the Marathon experience, at least according to what I infer from my husband describing the Chicago Marathon (he ran it last year). I am SO planning to do a Marathon, hopefully one in every state, and I wanta feel that athlete inside of me come roaring to the surface! You Go Girl!

7:31 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

I make a really good cheerleader. I should come cheer for you one of these years. And eat McDonalds with you afterwards. I'm good at that, too!

You're awesome, woman.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Mar said...

I miss fall in the midwest! I am not nostalgic for marathonning (sp?) but I did miss running 7 miles up hills in Iowa in July, does that count?

Hubby did the Chicago Marathon a few years ago and his knees never recovered. And he's in his 30's! It was all the training, not the actual event. I hated being a marathon training widow to the hours and hours he logged running while I stayed home watching the kids.

But, your thoughts/excellent writing still exactly mirrors my experiences doing the dratted "Bix 7" every July in Iowa, except add a temperature of 95 degrees and 96% humidity. The best and worst of times, all at once.

8:23 PM  
Anonymous oktree said...

Your descriptions are spot on, Meghan! I ran four marathons before having my son and have not been able to find the energy for another. After a five year hiatus, I may try one in March.

The euphoria, delirium and exhaustion are so attractive!

11:23 AM  

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